This site is addressable as http://tinyurl.com/LIFTeam
Please direct any requests for assistance for Iraqi families to the International Institute of New England in Lowell. Their contact info is available on our Resources page, see link at top right of home page.
Details about the LIFT group appear below:
Since the Fall of 2009 we have ben providing support and friendship to Iraqi refugees primarily in Lowell, MA and surrounding towns. This included partnering with the families, providing companionship, helping them to adjust to the American culture, way of life and language, as well as the provision of social programs and events. We offered ESL conversation fellowship meetings and specific programs to provide bicycles & locks, monthly bus passes for Iraqi High School students, Winter footwear for incoming families, bedbug remediation, diaper supplements and more.
When we started LIFT there were 19 families in Lowell. There are now over 60! In conjunction with the Merrimack Valley People for Peace and other individuals we have been able to make a difference in the lives of these families. We have learned from them what it is to live with grace under severe stress and with courage in the face of extreme adversity. Our many programs have been largely funded by donations from parishioners and friends of First Parish in Bedford, for which the many Iraqi families who have directly benefitted thank you profoundly.
If you would be interested in assuming a leadership role in continuing LIFT's work, please contact us.
NPR POV: The Light in her Eyes - Houda al-Habash, a conservative Muslim preacher, founded a Qur'an school for girls in Damascus, Syria, 30 years ago. Every summer, her female students immerse themselves in a rigorous study of Islam. A surprising cultural shift is underway — women are claiming space within the mosque. Shot right before the uprising in Syria erupted, The Light in Her Eyes offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges the women of her community to live according to Islam, without giving up their dreams. An Official Selection of the 2011 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.
Also: NPR Additional Short Video "A Female Dentist in Syria" - Dr. Iman Al-Jabi, a dentist in Syria, lives a pious Muslim life, obeying religious laws while shrugging off the typical gender roles assigned to women by cultural norms.
|Hard Truth, Levity and Hope - is a touching short documentary film that explores the lives of refugee teens who have settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. Click 'Read more' below or click the image to go straight to the video.|
What happened to your stolen bike? - Boston.com, January 22, 2012
This short article makes some interesting points, including:
“90 percent of bike thieves are drug addicts.”
“In America’s rough streets, there are four forms of currency--cash, sex, drugs, and bicycles. Of those, only one is routinely left outside unattended.”
The mission of the Iraqi American Community Center (IACC) is to bring Iraqis living in America together to create a strong community voice, to help Iraqis settle into their new community, and to give back to the local community.
Please join us to see our new office space, meet our volunteer staff, learn about the IACC, and enjoy some light refreshments.
IACC receives support from: LIFT, Merrimack Valley People for Peace, Veterans for Peace and ONE Lowell.
Quote of the day.
"They have generally optimistic and positive views about government, its agencies and the future of America, but they report a significant level of prejudice and discrimination." - Ahmed Younis, an analyst for the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, on a new poll showing that Muslim Americans are more optimistic about their future than members of any other religious group in the United States.
(CNN Belief Blog)