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Iraqi church administers trauma counselling to children suffering from post traumatic stress


A church in Ankawa, administers psychological counseling to the children victimized of heinous atrocities at the hands of terror group Islamic State. At the Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Ankawa which is a Christian district of Irbil. This counseling is intended to help these children cope with trauma caused by the ordeal they had undergone.

Christian children suffering in Iraq

Reverend Daniel Alkhory from the Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Ankawa while detailing the progress of the children receiving psychological counseling said that initially when these children arrived at the church they were asked to draw their dreams they drew rockets, bombs, soldiers and Islamic State fighters.

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After spending six months at the church, when these children were asked to draw their dreams they drew images of judges, engineers, teachers, builders, cooks, doctors and even a pop star, Rev. Alkhory said. He further said that their initial drawing mirrored their suffering, rage and an ardent desire to take revenge.

Reverend Alkhory further detailed example of an 11-year-old girl’s sketch of a singer on stage. “That one was inspired by Britney Spears. Her songs helped them heal their trauma. They really love her songs. She’s so famous among the children.”

Reverend Alkhory details that the counseling program includes regular activities including drama, reading and computer and Bible study classes. Nevertheless music classes and dancing to hits by Spears and other pop stars “were like a path” to recuperation because in this way children were able to express themselves in far better way.

“When they go to their tents, they don’t know what’s going on except that their mother’s grieving and their father’s shouting,” he said while adding, “The Christian community is really angry about what the Muslims did to them.”