Ugarit (Ras Shamra) Jan 2017

Beautifully crafted stone work from Ugarit (Ras Shamra), Syria. Middle to Late Bronze. This great city was destroyed sometime around 1200 BCE. We still don’t know who sacked the city. Best guess is the “Greeks” on the move during this turbulent time in the Mediterranean. Almost nothing in the Southern Levant even comes close to this kind of stonework at that period of time.
Ugarit (Jan 2017)
Marilyn Borst, Nuhad Tomeh, and Salam Hanna made it possible for us to visit a site I never thought I would visit in my lifetime. Thank you.
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
Jan 2017
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

Syrian Widow Seeking Refuge in Zadieh, Syria

Syrian Widow Seeks Refuge in Zadieh, Syria
Don Michael Hudson, PhD
Syrian widow seeking refuge in the Presbyterian Church in Zadieh, Syria (Jan 2017)
This small and beautiful church in the mountains east of Tartous was taking in as many refugees as it could and providing them sanctuary. The pastor died a few months after our departure from a heart attack. Obviously, we can see the trauma on her face and in her eyes.

Meeting the Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf

Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf
Don Michael Hudson, PhD

 

I was in Damascus, Syria in Jan 2017 four days with a group of people. We were fortunate to have an audience with the Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church centered in Damascus. As the archbishop started the meeting, he stopped in mid-sentence remembering something important. He told us that the Bishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, was staying in the church/monastery for one more night–he was staying there while Iraq and Syria were being ravaged by Islamic radicals. Mosul, ancient Nineveh, was viciously attacked by ISIL (Da’esh), and the bishop, after staying as long as he could in Mosul, sought refuge in Damascus in the headquarters of his church and under the protection of Assad’s forces. You can see his video below from 3 Nov 2014 where he states what is happening to Mosul and the Christians there. The title of the video is “The Bishop of Mosul is Weeping.” The Archbishop told us that Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf was leaving the next day to return to Mosul and rebuild his church and the Christian communities. The Archbishop dispatched an assistant to ask the Bishop of Mosul to join us for a moment. Little did I know who he was or how significant he is to Middle Eastern Christianity. He joined us and as soon as he walked in, his presence was overwhelming and generous. Just by looking at him you could tell that he had transformed his unspeakable sufferings into something beautiful. I also thought he looked exactly like some of my Harley riding friends back home. I actually looked at his hand to see if he wore a biker ring. I know, I should be more mature than this. He sat down while we were being served hot tea by the young priests. One priest offered him tea, he looked around before taking, and noticed that one of our group had been missed. I had noticed this but didn’t want to speak out of turn. The Bishop of Mosul stopped and asked the young priest to serve the one of us who did not have tea. Then he took his tea. He did not speak disparagingly of America, but he asked with true confusion why Americans were so intent on destroying his country, his church, his Christian brothers and sisters? Why would the “Christian” American president destroy a country, kill over 600,000 Iraqis, and then leave an opening for ISIS? Why would the American president be so intent on destroying Christian churches and Christian communities, some as old as 1500 years? Later, I was able to talk with him and shake his hand. No doubt, he is one of the greatest humans I have met.