Aid to the Church in Need helps Christians rebuild their houses after they were destroyed by IS
Above: Engineer Sabah Zakari at the office of the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee in Qaraqosh. He supervises the technical side of the reconstruction.
Slowly, house by house, the destruction that IS left behind after capturing Christian cities and villages in August of 2014 is becoming a memory. And at the very heart, directing the efforts to rebuild the Christian cities and villages on the Nineveh plains, is the Nineveh Reconstruction Center. Every day, those involved use plaster and bricks to celebrate small victories over the terror spread by IS. “When I first came back in March of 2017 after Qaraqosh was liberated, everything was either destroyed or damaged. That was very, very sad to see. But even then it was clear to me that the damage could be repaired,” Sabah Zakaria says. The 60-year-old engineer oversees the technical side of the reconstruction efforts. He is tackling this staggering task with a team of 70 engineers. The goal is nothing less than to restore the basis of life for Christians in Iraq. “Houses are not everything, but without houses to live in, everything is nothing,” Zakaria points out, without, however, minimizing the importance of such concerns as the lack of safety or jobs.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is doing a great deal to support the engineers’ reconstruction work. Zakaria’s own house was restored with the help of ACN. The engineer is convinced that the efforts put into reconstruction have not been in vain. “It is a huge joy to see our beautiful city come to life again,” he says.