Working in the evenings as a wedding DJ and by day as a driver, Basman makes a living for his family. In August 2014 everything changed for this Christian father from Bartella. When self-proclaimed Islamic state (IS or ISIS) threatened to take over the villages in the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, he had to run with his family.
“Before IS came I had a good life with my family in Bartella,” says 41-year-old Basman. He is married to Clara and they have three children, Farhad (12), Yousif (8) and Sara (6).
In the evenings he worked under his artist name, Jamno, as a DJ at all kinds of parties. “In the mornings I worked as a driver. With these two jobs we had a nice and happy life.”
He never forgets that day in the first week of August 2014 when the threat of Islamic State was so big that all inhabitants were forced to flee.
“When we fled I thought that we would be back after two or three days. Otherwise I would have taken more of my equipment with me. I had only taken my laptop with all my work on it.”
In Erbil he got some work in restaurants and started helping another DJ. But he wanted to return to his old life, working as a DJ. “With your help I was able to buy new equipment to start as a DJ again.”
Our partner organization in Iraq has helped set up 200 income-generating projects over the last few years, mainly by giving micro-loans. “It feels as if my life has restarted. From nothing, I am living and managing my own life again. I am happy now and can face up to my problems. I see this as God helping me through your help.”
He loves his work as a DJ. “I like to make people happy, to make them dance. At these parties there is so much positive energy.”
“Working at these parties, means also a party for me, I become happy with them.”
The sparkle of his work is back, but the fire of faith never left Basman. It kept burning through the most difficult times. “My faith has helped me. I have a big faith in God. We knew and know that He will never leave his people.”
In contrast to many other displaced from Bartella, Basman’s family is still living in displacement. When they visited Bartella for the first time after the liberation they found their house fully destroyed, exploded.
“We cannot return right now. My dream is to rebuild the house.”
Through our local partner we have funded the restoration of more than 1,200 houses in the Nineveh Plain, including 300 in Bartella. But the committees gave priority to the less damaged houses, as they were easier and cheaper to repair, and that meant it was easier and quicker for more people to return. In most places there is not enough money available to also rebuild the badly-destroyed houses.
“It wasn’t easy to see our house in that state.” He shows us pictures of the collapsed house.
The children are preparing for school too. Their mother helps them to get the right things in their schoolbags. They hug their dad and leave. Basman smiles as he waves goodbye at the door. He will start preparing now for another party.
Thanks to so many generous donors like you, Basman can provide an income for his family again. Your PRAYER and DONATION to support Iraqi christians to rebuild their community is important.
In cooperation with local partners and churches, Open Doors supports the persecuted church in Iraq through: Bible and Christian literature distribution; Biblical, trauma counselling, and leadership training; Socio-economic development; Structural aid and Emergency aid relief.
Every HK$400 can enable a persecuted Christian to earn a living by starting a small business.