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05/14/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – In 2014, ISIS invaded the Nineveh Plains in Iraq. This region is home to many of Iraq’s Christians and droves of Christians fled their homes in an attempt to escape ISIS. The Islamic State had full intentions of committing genocide against all Christians in the region. However, ISIS eventually realized that their defeat was imminent and proceeded to destroy as much property as they could manage.

Even though they couldn’t massacre all of the region’s Christians, ISIS did manage to make their journey home nearly impossible. Houses were bombed, farmland was turned into tunnels for supply transportation, and nat­ural resources were depleted or destroyed by the radical militants. The displaced Christian community had to literally rebuild their lives from ashes and dust.

Families returning home struggled to make ends meet. In Iraqi culture, the lead male figure in each family is responsible for taking care of the family. However, many young men were unable to finish their edu­cation because they were forced to abruptly relocate. They have very few skills that can help provide for their parents and siblings or wives and children.

Ten of these young men had only managed to finish a portion of their education, limiting their possibilities for the future. One young man had to abandon his education after only completing elementary school and part of middle school. In response, ICC worked with partners on the ground to train these young men in barbering skills.

The men learned cutting, trimming, styl­ing, and other necessary skills, and were eventually certified to become barbers. They were then provided basic hair cutting and styling tools to start up their own barbershop businesses. These individuals have finally managed to return home and are now able to provide a sustainable income for their families and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

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