How One Man Defied ISIS and Cared for His Family... By Making Soap

For most of his life, Faris sat indoors, unable to work.

He comes from the Yazidi community of Sinjar, near the border between Iraq and Syria, where the most common industries are farming and construction.

When Faris was young, he contracted a disease that makes it impossible for him to do manual labor. His immune system is weakened in a way that makes any exertion a major health risk.

The discouragement—the sheer helplessness—any man feels at not being able to work, to provide, and to protect is no small thing. But it’s especially problematic when you are a minority in Iraq and under almost constant threat—like when a dictator forces your people into collected villages to make you easier to oppress.

Or when foreign armies invade and occupy your country.

Or when militants overrun your home, intent on exterminating your people.

All of this happened to Faris’ people in his lifetime.

What’s more, Faris spent his whole life watching other able-bodied men protect his community, harvest food for the table, and bring home money to support his own family because he simply could not work.

But that changed last fall when you gave Faris a way to provide for his family.

After ISIS attacked his hometown, the family fled to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. They moved into a small house in a community filled with other Yazidis, but work was hard to come by, and like most men would be in his situation Faris was sick of sitting by and doing nothing—especially with his family in such dire need! The little savings they took with them when they fled had dried up. But paying the rent, caring for his ailing mother, and welcoming a new baby all added up to one thing: Faris needed a stable source of income.

With money you gave to help us provide small business grants, Faris received the training and supplies he needed to start a soapmaking business.

It began small, but Faris’s determination and creativity amazed us all. He is constantly thinking of new blends of soap, new ways to dry and cure and cut the bars, and new markets to reach as he builds his new business.

This soap is his act of defiance.

It’s his family’s future reclaimed from the ashes of war. Faris makes each bar of Kinsman Soap by hand—and now you get to hold a peace of his future in your hands.

With this soap, Faris earns enough to care for his family of 14. Instead of depending on handouts, Faris earns a living wage. His whole family is pitching in to keep the business growing!

This, friends, is empowerment.

This is the kind of future you make possible when you invest in a refugee—when you offer dignity over dependance, hope over handouts.

This is what Kinsman Soap does.

You showed up when Faris was at his lowest point. You gave him what he needs to rebuild his life—then you got out of the way and let him do what every father wants to do: provide, protect, and love their family well.

Give the gift of empowerment to men in Iraq. With you by their side, they will defy hate, care for their families, and remake their world.

  

About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

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How One Man Defies ISIS and Takes Care of His Family—By Making Soap
How One Man Defied ISIS and Cared for His Family... By Making Soap
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