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.

SW Virginia Higher Education College for Older Adults: “What’s Going on in the Middle East”?

SW Virginia Higher Education College for Adults
“What’s Going on in the Middle East?”

I will be doing a lecture series for the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and the College for Older Adults via Zoom:

THURSDAYS
Jan. 14 – Feb. 18, 2021
10:00 am
____ What’s Going on in the Middle East? KING UNIVERSITY LECTURESHIP SERIES. As usual, more than we can imagine. Why are we (Americans) bombing Yemen? What’s behind the “Deal of the Century” for Israel and Palestine? What’s happening now in Syria, and where is Russia in all this? Why do some members of both Democrat and Republican administrations want to damage Iran permanently? What’s in it for us? What’s going on in Lebanon and why does Hezbollah remain in the news? Join me as we tackle some of these tough issues we see or read in our daily news. But, just as we have done in the past, let’s look below and beyond the mainstream media. Our class will be imminently relevant and help us understand our worlds better. Instructor, Don Michael Hudson, Ph.D. (among many other degrees and fellowships), Chair of the Department of Religion and Bible at King University.
You can follow this link to get more information and register for this event: https://www.swcenter.edu/coa/

Netflix Presents a Mysterious Hollywood mission in the Iraqi city of Mosul

Mosul Film Critique

Mosul Film Critique by Safaa Al-Saleh 

(You can open this link in Chrome and read in English)
If you get a chance, watch the film “Mosul” streaming on Netflix. I really liked the film and found it interesting. Below you can find an Iraqi (I think he is Iraqi) critic’s review, which I think important. I don’t quite fully understand what he is writing, but he gives the film a positive review and yet critiques the usual “Western” portrayal of binary heroes or villains, and especially the simplistic way most of us in the West view the complexities of another culture(s). You can click on the link in Chrome and translate it to English. Do watch “Mosul” if you get a chance and see a different perspective on the battle against Da’esh.
“In the movie “Mosul”, we were faced with a reality of violence, devastation and betrayal, interspersed with the story of a group that finds itself carrying out justice in its own way that resembles the style of the criminal himself. We see them being slaughtered and killed in the same way, despite their belonging to what is supposed to be official regular forces, and the film’s producers try to provide the logical justification for their actions with the magnitude of violence and horrific horror in a reality in which trenches overlap, positions are mixed and the lines between good and evil are blurred and right and wrong.” Safaa Al-Saleh