A very happy Christmas to all my readers
This is the Christmas Eve scene at the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh in northern Iraq. Many Iraqi Christians have taken refuge in Qaraqosh from Islamic fundamentalists in the south of the country and the Church of the Immaculate Conception is the largest church in Iraq. Since Saddam Hussein's arrest in 2003 the population of Qaraqosh has doubled and the town is now home to more than 10,000 refugees. My music for Christmas was recorded in Qaraqosh and comes from a newly released CD from French independent label Ad Vitam. On the disc denominations including Catholic and Orthodox Syriacs and Chaldaeans celebrate the Christian liturgy in the Arabic, Chaldaean, Syriac and Soureth languages, the latter being derived from the Aramaic that Christ spoke. A beautiful and deeply moving disc that bears witness to the healing power of music. There is an Aramaic Passion here and more on Ad Vitam, the label that build bridges of hope and trust, here.
* 40% of the proceeds of the CD Qaraqosh are donated to L’Oeuvre d’Orient, a Catholic charity that assists the Christians of Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.
Also on Facebook and Twitter. Header photo is via bakhdida.net . Qaraqosh was bought in FNAC Paris. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk