Save theYazidis from Genocide. Project Abraham Needs Your Help Now!

Update posted by Gary Rose On Aug 15, 2017

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Last Friday the Yazidi community in Richmond Hill celebrated their first wedding in over five years. A lot has gone on for the Yazidis between weddings - Mt. Sinjar, genocide, and the capture of their women and girls by ISIS - so it would be no surprise if they weren’t up to celebrating. Yet despite the worse nightmare that could happen to good and decent people, Friday was a celebration of life and freedom for the Yazidi community.

The Yazidis came from London, from New York, and from Montreal. And they came to dance. The men, the women, and the children danced non-stop in Yazidi fashion to the deafening Yazidi band playing traditional songs. Holding hands, the men, woman, and children circled the floor, dancing with intricate footwork and swaying shoulders. Survivors of ISIS, children with scars, new arrivals, women who lost their husbands and their sons, and those who were rescued from the slave markets.

It was a magical evening, as though the joy of a wedding in a new land canceled out their tragedy. This was not a time to grieve, but a time to laugh, and celebrate. Even little Abraham, born in Canada just 9 months ago, knew how to dance. Lifted high on the dancefloor he smiled and moved his arms up and down to the beat as he was handed from Yazidi to Yazidi. Safe in the hands of his Yazidi community, all of which act as extended family, he is confident and secure and loved.

While the wedding was not extravagant, there was an aura of grace and nobility that is curiously absent from so many mainstream Canadian affairs. The abundance of love, community, and the pure joy of being in the moment made everything seem perfect. This was the dignified wedding of proud mountain people who have suffered so terribly under ISIS.

Canada needs communities like the Yazidis. For all the suffering these people have endured, they come to Canada with the expectation that they will get on with lives - new lives, speaking English, getting an education, getting jobs, getting married, and becoming Canadians. These are the kind of people that we want to come to Canada, people who understand what freedom means, what respect for all people means, what equality means, and what community really means. They are industrious, and are working hard to support themselves – and the new Yazidi arrivals whose men are gone, and whose scars are deep.

With our ever-growing army of volunteers, Project Abraham is working along with the Yazidis community, One Fee World International, and the Yezidis Human Rights Organization – International to support the Yazidis. We are also lobbying the Government of Canada, reminding them of the tragedy of the Yazidis genocide, and asking them to do more for a people who have suffered so much. We need their support, and their resources. And we need them to expedite the family reunification process. Genocide demands it.

We are doing whatever we can to help, but we need to do more – much more.

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Update posted by Gary Rose On Aug 04, 2017

Yesterday was the third anniversary of the Yazidi genocide on Mt. Sinjar, August 3, 2014.

Members of the Yazidi community, The Mozuud Freedom Foundation, One Free World International, Yezidi Human Rights Organization - International, and others, met across from the US Consulate on University Avenue in Toronto to demand action to save the Yazidis from annihilation.

The Yazidi genocide continues and the world still watches. Not close to enough was done to prevent the slaughter of the Yazidi men and the kidnapping of women and girls to be used as sex slaves. Not enough is being done to rescue the women and girls, and to help the thousands of displaced Yazidis who have nothing and no where to go. The Yazidis are desperately needing our help.

Although the Government of Canada has promised to bring in a token amount of the women and girls rescued from ISIS, The Mozuud Freedom Foundation's Project Abraham is working with other human rights organizations and members of parliament to demand that the Government of Canada does more.

Please write to your MP and MPP and demand that the Yazidi refugees be brought to Canada as were the Syrians.

Genocide demands it.

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Update posted by Gary Rose On Jul 29, 2017

The horror of captivity under Daesh does not end when the Yazidi women and girls are freed. The deep psychological wounds will be there forever.

Project Abraham is supporting women and girls in the GTA who have been rescued from ISIS. Through our network of volunteers and contacts, and with the help of the GTA Yazidi community, we are helping them by getting them clothes and furniture, translators and transportation to help them with appointments, and drivers to help them to attend ESL classes run by our volunteers.

Project Abraham needs your help to support these women who have undergone the worst imaginable suffering - and continue to suffer psychological pain while adjusting to their new lives in the GTA.

Please consider donating to Project Abraham. The women and girls who survived ISIS desperately need our help to begin new lives in Canada.


The Toronto Star: Yazidi women freed from Daesh bear deep psychological scars


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Update posted by Gary Rose On Jun 30, 2017

Members of the Mado family reflects on their first half-year in Canada after they came over as privately sponsored refugees through the Mozuud Freedom Foundation’s Project Abraham.

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Thu., June 29, 2017

Saadi Mado graduated as an adult student on Wednesday, June 28 from the York Region District School Board's continuing education program. The Mado family was the first group of Yazidi refugees to arrive in Canada earlier this year through the Mozuud Freedom Foundation’s Project Abraham. Pictured from left to right are Saadi's father Jasim, mother Marjan, sister Saada and brother Samir.
Saadi Mado graduated as an adult student on Wednesday, June 28 from the York Region District School Board's continuing education program. The Mado family was the first group of Yazidi refugees to arrive in Canada earlier this year through the Mozuud Freedom Foundation’s Project Abraham. Pictured from left to right are Saadi's father Jasim, mother Marjan, sister Saada and brother Samir. (Sammy Hudes / Toronto Sta

It was just half a year ago that Jasim Mado and his wife Marjan were living in Turkey, having fled Iraq after Daesh attacked their hometown of Nineveh.

They never would have dreamed the only violence they’d soon be hiding from would involve snowball fights with their grandchildren.

Six months after arriving in Canada along with their sons Waleed and Saeed, their daughter-in-law Shamsah and two young grandchildren, the family is proud to call Canada home.

Their arrival in January made them the first privately sponsored Yazidi refugees to reach Canada through Project Abraham, started more than two years ago by the Mozuud Freedom Foundation, a not-for-profit human rights organization.

“Here, we are safe,” said Jasim, speaking in his native Kurdish, through his son Saadi’s translation. “Canadian people are very nice and kind. They help. No exclusion. Back home, we were not safe and we were scared.”

The project has so far brought 12 people to Canada. With continuing requests to bring more than 40 additional refugees from the Yazidi community, project manager Debbie Rose estimates Mozuud will need to raise at least $750,000. To date, the organization has raised about $100,000.

The Mado family had been separated for two years after Saadi, his brother Samir and sister Saada, escaped persecution and settled in Richmond Hill as they waited for their parents and other siblings.

Born in Iraq, Saadi Mado fled to Turkey to escape the persecution of Yazidis in Iraq.

“It was a horrible feeling because you don’t know when you’re going to be killed or if they’re going to come and capture your family,” Saadi Mado said in an interview in January. “They take women, girls, kids and they sell people.”

“It was a horrible situation they passed through. I passed through the same situation,” he said, recalling having to live in refugee camps with no protection or rights because of his religion. “It is very hard because you cannot be citizens in Turkey. You can’t work. You don’t have your right to say anything.”

Having his parents back in his life is a “huge feeling,” for Saadi.

“It was two years, I didn’t see them,” he said. “I enjoy all my time with them. My mom is my second part of my life. She helped me a lot because I’m working full time and I’m studying full time now and she prepares everything for me.”

On Wednesday, Saadi graduated as an adult student from the York Region District School Board’s continuing education program, having completed his high school requirements. It’s a path he hopes his older brother Waleed, 29, will soon follow.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get my graduation back home,” said Saadi, who works as an associate at a Home Depot warehouse. “Now, I come here and I afford everything and I face anything. We never give up.”

The Yazidis are an ancient people who have been the victim of many jihads, according to the Mozuud foundation. The most recent attacks they have suffered have come at the hands of Daesh, also known as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, which practises an ultra-conservative form of Islam that doesn’t recognize Yazidis as co-religionists.

The Trudeau government announced in February it planned to bring in 1,200 refugees, most of them Yazidis, by year end, an initiative costing about $28 million. It also committed to facilitating private sponsorship of Yazidi refugees, such as those arriving through Project Abraham such as the Mado family.

Jasim and Marjan say they’ve fallen in love with Canada’s weather, parks and nature, noting the many types of trees they’d never seen before arriving.

“We feel Canada is our own country,” Jasim said. “We have our permanent residence. We have everything covered. We thank Canada’s government. We appreciate that we are refugees here. We thank all Canadians, because they are kind to refugees and newcomers.”

They’re looking forward to their first Canada Day, as the celebration will be doubly special; not only will they be spending Canada’s 150th birthday at Niagara Falls, but they’ll also be celebrating Jasim’s 55th birthday on July 1.

“It’s going to be two birthdays together,” Saadi said.

The family still faces many challenges adjusting to life in Canada, most notably, learning the language.

Jasim said he figures he could work as a cashier once his English is better. In Iraq, he owned and managed a supermarket for two decades before teaching in an elementary school for 11 years.

He became unemployed after the family fled to Turkey in August 2014, as Yazidis aren’t allowed to work there.

“We are still unstable,” Jasim said. “We want to be stable, and, then, after we learn English, we want to work. This is a very near plan of the future.”

Saadi is translating his father’s response about their plans for finding work when Jasim cuts in to add something else in Kurdish.

After a laugh, Saadi shares the translation.

“And trying to help me to marry,” he says.

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Update posted by Gary Rose On Jun 26, 2017

posted by

June 26, 2017

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Yesterday at the Lodzer Synagogue in Toronto, Project Abraham held a free bazaar to meet the needs of the Yazidi community. It was a hugely successful event.

Many thanks to the volunteers who spent hours collecting clothing, toys, and household items, delivering the items to Lodzer, and helping us set up the bazaar. Special thanks to all who contributed the goods, and for your kind support.

Project Abraham is a success due to the wonderful volunteer community that has pulled together to support the Yazidis. Countless hours are put in each week by our large network of volunteers who have dedicated themselves to the well-being of our new Yazidi families, who have in turn rewarded us with their kindness and appreciation. We all can be proud that we have successfully come together in support of a people who have suffered so much, and that we continue to work to ensure the Yazidis are not forgotten.

Also, special thanks to the Lodzer Synagogue for supporting Project Abraham and the Yazidis community. We are grateful to have Lodzer as a committed partner in our endeavour.

To see more photos go to Project Abraham bazaar June 25 2017



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Update posted by Gary Rose On Jun 14, 2017

posted by

June 12, 2017

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Under shade trees and sunny skies Project Abraham celebrated summer at Earl Bales Park.

The Yazidi community and our Project Abraham volunteers have formed close affectionate bonds, and a picnic was the ideal setting for all of us to get together to play, talk, and share in the joy of the Yazidis ’new-found freedom.

It was also a pleasure to have Michael Levitt, MP for York Centre, join us. Michael spent time listening to the needs of the Yazidis community and speaking with Mirza Ismail of Yezidi Human Rights – International, and spiritual leader of the Yazidis community, as well as Geoffrey Clarfield, Executive Director of The Mozuud Freedom Foundation.


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Many thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard to make our picnic happen. It was a brilliant success. Great food, good company, smiling taces, and great weather. It was a picture perfect day.

For more pictures of our picnic got to Project Abraham picnic June 11 2017

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Update posted by Gary Rose On Jun 01, 2017

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June 01, 2017

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My wife Debbie, who is the Project Coordinator for Project Abraham, and I joined the GTA Yazidi community in meeting our latest refugees at Pearson International Airport

While a joyful and happy occasion that needs to be celebrated, I can’t help being affected by the absurdity of the Yazidis struggle. Without Project Abraham and our large number of dedicated volunteers who have spent hundreds of hours completing applications, making sure the needs of the refugees are taken care of - finding housing, jobs, clothes, furniture, teaching them English, driving them to appointments, and helping them lobby the government – it could have been a different story.

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The Yazidis have become our friends. They are learning English and easily fitting into the Canadian community. They are self-supporting, and generous with the little they have. Despite what that have suffered, they celebrate life.

Debbie and I are considered part of their community, not outsiders. We are as family, and other volunteers have the same experience. The Yazidis are a warm, loving, and inclusive people, the kind of people we should welcome to Canada with open arms.

Yet the absurdity remains. A people undergoing a genocide and faced with extinction being told by the West - including Canada - that the few Yazidi refugees taken in are all we can accommodate. Given the thousands of Syrian refugees that the West brought in, surely the Yazidi deserve at least the same consideration. Given the genocide, morally more consideration.


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All of us involved in Project Abraham have had our lives enriched by the Yazidis. And we will continue supporting them and to lobby for them because it is the right thing to do. The world is not a compassionate place, and justice seldom is metred out in a way that is fair. All the Yazidis want to do is live in peace and in safety, and we will do our best to make that happen.

See more photos: https://www.facebook.com/Mozuud/posts/1376619715760536

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Update posted by Gary Rose On May 23, 2017

by Gary Rose. May 23, 2017



Project Abraham is successfully supporting the growing Yazidi community in the GTA and helping them adapt to living in Canada. With our growing network of committed volunteers, we are providing clothes and furniture, helping find jobs and housing, and working with the community to ensure their needs are being met.

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We are also committed to helping the community with the ongoing effort to bring their family members to Canada. This is a huge commitment for us. It requires hours of volunteer work to complete applications, lobbying the government to allow more refugees to come to Canada, and raising the funds required.

As we have become a source of hope for the Yazidis, and have become to understand the breadth of the genocide that has forced them from their homeland, we now see the true lack of significant help that governments and the UN have given, despite their acknowledgement of the Yazidi genocide


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Project Abraham is working with other human rights organizations such as One Free World International (OFWI) and the Yezidi Human Rights Organization – International to address the failure of the Canadian government to do more than a token effort to bring Yazidis to Canada. We are a small voice, but have achieved so much in the last two years, and are continuing to fight on behalf of the Yazidi people.

Despite the lack of significant government support for family reunification, the Yazidi community is thankful that the people of Canada has taken them in. They are learning English, going to school, taking jobs, and are celebrating their religious holidays, births, and upcoming marriages, in freedom. They are a people who have suffered yet know the real meaning of family, community, working hard, and moving forward to become good Canadians in every sense.


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With all the sadness and hardship, the Yazidis are a positive and joyful people who show appreciation and have welcomed all the Project Abraham volunteers into their community. We are all better for knowing them, a people who have every right to be bitter, but instead are open hearted and inclusive, full of life and love. It is a tragedy of immense proportions that the world cannot see that the Yazidis live like all of us should and don’t. It is a blindness that reflects a lack of true compassion, and an unwillingness to act based on our values. We can learn so much from the Yazidis, but first we need to open our eyes.

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Update posted by Gary Rose On Apr 26, 2017

Our first Project Abraham Yazidi New Year was celebrated last night. An evening of joy and great happiness to be in Canada was shared with the GTA Yazidis community.

Please see the link below to see photos of the celebration.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.13359994...



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Update posted by Gary Rose On Apr 20, 2017

posted by Gary Rose |

April 20, 2017

Last evening, volunteers from Project Abraham, and members of the GTA Yazidi community, along with Wisam, his wife Shayma, and their 11-year old daughter Hima, welcomed Jumaah and Tuffaha on their arrival at Pearson International Airport. It was an emotional family reunion, and a wonderful testament to the dedicated volunteers of Project Abraham who worked tirelessly to make this happen.

Jumaah and Tuffaha are two seniors who were completely alone as Yazidi refugees in Turkey, without the emotional and physical support of their family. They were in hiding, afraid to be in refugee camps or to go out of their apartment in case they were identified as Yazidis, who are persecuted and killed for their beliefs. While food is given to Yazidi refugees in camps, in the cities the Turkish government refuses to do the same.

Their son, Wisam, a recent landed immigrant in Canada, helped his parents with whatever money he managed to send to them from his job in a bakery after caring for his wife and daughter.

The application for Jumaah and Tuffaha was submitted through ORAT in October 2016, just two to three short weeks after other Yazidi families under our sponsorship submitted their applications. Since the government declared a genocide being perpetrated against the Yazidi people, they have expedited refugee applications for family reunification, and we are grateful to report that Jumaah and Tuffaha, through the hard work of our Project Abraham volunteers, have arrived in Canada.

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This donation is on behalf of my BFF Debbie's b-day. Happy Birthday Debbie and good luck Project Abraham!!

Kathy

Backed with $100.00 On Jul 23, 2017

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Anonymous

Backed with $25.00 On Jul 03, 2017

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Glad to be a sponsor. Yazidis face a bleak future in Iraq. Having met Yazidis in Iraq, I can say that they will embrace our Canadian values and will fit in. Jim and Wendy

james hollett

Backed with $100.00 On Jun 16, 2017

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Thanks for the good work you are doing. The Yazidis in Iraq face a bleak future.

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I hope together we could help Yazidim

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