Middle East Council of Churches

Unofficial news from the Middle Eastern Christian Ecumenical organization.

Maintained by Tom Scudder

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Friday, September 12, 2003
Incidentally, if anyone is wondering who the new Chaldean Patriarch is, the answer is, no answer has yet come in. The synod has not, after almost a month of deliberations, agreed on a candidate yet.
posted by Tom at 2:28 PM

Official site: a new Statement on Iraq, basically covering the events of the summer, and in particular responding to the string of bombings in August.

I talked recently to Edmond Addam, who frequently visits Iraq in his work for MECC's Emergency Relief Services program, and he had a number of stories to tell.


  • Asked if Baghdad now was better or worse than Beirut in the 70's and 80's, he said, definitely worse in Baghdad. In Beirut, there were some border crossings that were risky, but if you stayed away from them you were pretty safe. But in Baghdad, nowhere is safe.
  • Illustrating the previous: Twice, he and colleagues were eating in a restaurant in a supposedly "safe and prosperous" part of Baghdad when the insecurity came home to them. The first was when a roadside bomb hit an American military convoy less than a block away. The second was when his taxi driver, having driven off for a few minutes to refuel his car, came walking back. He had been held up, his car stolen, while he went off for gas.
  • Trying to find a generator for the MECC's Baghdad office was a nightmare. With summer temperatures hitting 60 C (140 farenheit), the legitimate supply dried up completely. The only ones available were looted models on the black market. Eventually, after pulling every string he could find, Edmond found a legitimate generator in Basra for 4 times market price.

posted by Tom at 2:20 PM