October 05, 2020

Meanwhile in Iraq – despite Coronavirus

Nineveh SEED
Dastan and some of the boys from our football project at Harsham Refugee Camp in northern Iraq
Meanwhile in Iraq, DESPITE Coronavirus...
JOY after the gloom of lockdown. HOPE after despair!
3 years ago we started a football project (that's 'soccer' to our US friends). We wanted to give hope and joy to hundreds of young people in Harsham Refugee Camp in Iraq.

Our project channels youthful energies into positive team sports and steers children away from radicalisation.

The pitch has been closed for much of 2020 due to the Coronavirus. The children have been in lockdown in their tents and it has been a bleak experience for them.

Now the pitch is open again. Our coach Dastan is back at work. And the boys are playing football again.

Result: JOY after the gloom of the lockdown. HOPE after despair.

Here's what some of them said to us...
Firaz Nasr
Firaz Nasr, 13 years old from Sinjar
What was it like in the camp during the Coronavirus lockdown?

Firaz says, "It was very hard for us, because we had to spend the whole of our time in our tent. We were not allowed to come to the pitch and play football. It was a very unpleasant time for me."

And how are things now?

Firaz says, "Things are getting better. We are allowed to come out and play football. This is my best time ever. I love it."
Young Footballer Jasim Fathi
Jasim Fathi, 13 years old from Mosul
What has life been like in the camp during the lockdown?

Jasim says, "It was not good at all. We were stayed in our tent for a long time. Sometimes, I played cards with my sisters and brothers, but it was not enough ... I really wanted to go out of the tent to play football with my friends."

But now you can play football again...

Jasim says, "Yes. Now, life is back again; as you can see us on the pitch. Dastan is here and all of my friends are around. We are very happy."
Fahd Emad, 8 years old from Sinjar
What was it like during the Coronavirus lockdown?

Fahd says, "I couldn’t play football. The pitch was closed, there were no matches. No friends were around. Sometimes, I escaped from my family secretly to see if there any children on the pitch..., but it was always locked."

And now?

Fahd says, "Now everything is good. I can come out from our tent and play football with my friends.... We are doing great."
Young Footballer Moatamar
Moatamar Mohannad, 12 years old from Mosul
What was it like in the camp during the lockdown?

Moatamar says, "Playing football is like a breath for me. During the Corona I couldn’t play. I spent the whole time with my family within the tent. It was very hard."

But he goes on to say, "Now. I am very happy. I think Corona has gone. So, we can play without any restriction and I can meet my friends. We can go 24 hours without any fear."
Young Footballer Marwan
Marwan Rakan from Baaj, 15 years old
How was the lockdown for you?

Marwan says, "It was like a prison for me. I didn’t like it at all. As we didn’t live our lives. We washed our hands more than 10 times during one day. It was not very easy."

But now things have changed...

Marwan agrees. "Honestly, it is just great for me and all of my friends here within the camp. I am happy, and I wish Corona to not come back to us again."
Help These Young People
We totally rely upon your donations to run the football project and give joy and hope to these boys... Please help if you can.
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Posted by Mosaic Team