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Mosul Survivors Describe ISIS's Increasingly Desperate, Increasingly Brutal Tactics

Families arrive at a government checkpoint after escaping ISIS

A month has passed since Iraqi forces began to push ISIS out of west Mosul. ISIS appears to be becoming increasingly desperate, fighting to the death with no regard for civilian lives or property—and no apparent escape routes.

Our Response to the Hijabi Woman in London Says More About Us Than it Does About Her

Westminster Bridge, the scene of Wednesday's terror attack. Photo by D. Geezer/CC BY-NC 2.0

Maybe you’ve seen the hotly debated photo of a Muslim woman walking through the scene of Wednesday's terror attack in London. (We're not sharing the photo because she's asked people to stop circulating it after becoming the target of online abuse.)

If you have seen it, you probably already have a strong opinion about it, and about her.

But what if I told you that our response to this photo says more about our beliefs than it does about hers?

Mosul Water Update: ''You were the cause of happiness for thousands.''

Families in Mosul haven't had water for months. After years of ISIS sabotage and the ongoing battle to liberate Mosul, the water system is in ruins.

On World Water Day, we asked you help turn the water back on in Mosul—and you’re responding. We've started repairing hundreds of feet of pipe, so we can restore water for up to 1.6 million people.

Loving the People No One Else Will Love: It's a Commitment, Not A Contest

We go where no one else will go, to love those no one else will love.

It’s not a bragging statement. It’s not an empty slogan. It’s not a catchphrase.

War Created a Water Crisis in Mosul. Here's How We Can Solve It.

Imagine ISIS rolls into your city and sabotages your water supply. For years, you have nothing to drink but dirty, contaminated water. Eventually, bombs start falling from the sky. They are meant for ISIS—but they also blow huge craters in the street, destroying the water pipes beneath. Now, you don’t have any water—dirty or otherwise.

Families in Mosul have endured a years-long water crisis. It’s hard to imagine, with the mighty Tigris River running through the heart of the city.

But this is not your typical water crisis. It was caused entirely by human hands.

You Just Opened the First Medical Clinic in East Mosul

With three days notice, I flew to Iraq on a one-way ticket, simply because Preemptive Love asked me to and I could not turn down an opportunity like that. I knew they were going to Mosul and I wanted to witness their work in a city that is finally free from ISIS control.

More Than Headlines... Here Are the People of West Mosul

She asked for a photo, but then an airstrike hit nearby.

Then a family pulled me aside, asking for help getting food.

Then a man came along, saying he had just escaped ISIS a few minutes ago.

Then some women shouted at me, to warn that I was walking near an unexploded mortar.

Then, when I realized I’d forgotten to take a picture of that girl with the emerald eyes, she was gone.

Taking the Conversation Offline

Photos by Jenna Strubhar

This is a call to the women in my faith community to come together and rise above division.”

That was the start of Sally’s Facebook post inviting people into her home to create unity in a world that seems intent on driving us apart.

When Everyone Else Said She Wasn't Enough, You Said She Was

“Oh, you have tea cups. If you have teacups, why do you need our help to buy food? Why don’t you sell your teacups?”

Jameela stirs sugar into small glasses of tea before standing to serve the handful of women gathered in her home. Tea glasses are cheap enough to buy new. Her used set might fetch a few cents. Maybe a dollar if the buyer was generous.

Of course, then she and her sons would have no glasses to drink from.

As she tells the story of an earlier visit from another aid agency, it is clear that it’s still painful to her. They left without giving her family any help.

The Presence of Real Empowerment

Preemptive Love Coalition staff visit and listen to one of our empowerment grant recipients

Most Syrian refugees who are lucky enough to find a place in a camp receive more than one form of aid, from more than one source. But refugee families often tell us that aid programs sometimes make them feel like a number or a line on a spreadsheet, a tick in a checkbox marked “completed.”

Aid strives to be efficient. It needs to be.

But there is nothing efficient about rebuilding a shattered life.

Read the blog at Preemptive Love Coalition
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