A selection of articles on different subjects relating to the Arab world, Muslims, our ministry and more…

A time to give thanks

In the northern hemisphere, this is the season of harvest, a time when we reflect on how much we have to be thankful for. Some of us even have a national holiday of thanksgiving. Most often, the first thing that comes to mind is thankfulness for provisions such as food, shelter and safety. If we think a moment longer, we realise we are thankful for family, friends, our church community, and the freedom to worship.

But if I lived in Aleppo, Syria – which is all but destroyed – or in Sana’a, Yemen – where an air attack on a funeral recently killed more than 140 mourners – I could find it difficult to be thankful. Indeed, even in the safety of my warm home, I can find it a challenge to be thankful when I see the dark state of the world. So many people do not have the basic things that we take for granted. No food, no shelter, no safety, and no freedom of belief. And they all have family and friends who have been killed.

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A true picture of Yemen

Hope and despair

The BBC recently broadcast a programme about starvation in Yemen. In Our World, Starving Yemen* a reporter follows a Yemeni doctor as she visits families with malnourished children. Included is the story of an eighteen-month-old boy who is slowly starving because the only milk his body can digest is no longer available… His mother cries as she tells the doctor, ‘I’m losing my son and there is nothing I can do about it.’

It’s clear that many children have been dying in Yemen, while for the most part the media has looked away. Most of us know there is an ongoing war, but we know little of its devastating side effects: famine and disease. The doctor mentioned above has been buying medicine with her personal savings, remaining in Yemen alone while her husband and daughter stay in Jordan. She makes a powerful statement:

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Guarding our hearts

By a member of the Arab World Media team

Giving birth to your first child takes your breath away. Suddenly, there is this precious little life, unable to do anything for him or herself, and you are the one who has to make sure their needs are met. You are completely in love, but you are also completely overwhelmed by the responsibility you now have.

In those first few weeks of motherhood, I would sit in my living room, nursing my daughter for hours on end. There wasn’t much else I could do, so I would use my phone to keep in touch with the world. While on maternity leave, I wanted to keep informed of events in the Arab world, paying particular attention to the war in Syria. It was 2014 and Daesh (ISIL) was making the headlines.

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A life-changing journey

One of our aims for 2016, through our While it is Day initiative, is to empower the global church to minister to Muslim refugees more effectively. ‘The Journey’ is a video-based course that takes people through the Old Testament to discover the truth about the coming Messiah, Jesus. It was designed for people of the Arab world, by believers from the Arab world. It is an amazing resource and we are privileged to partner with this ministry.

The following report comes from a group of believers in Germany who ran the course earlier this year. It is very encouraging, so please read and share…

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What can we do about fear?

It seems these days that almost every breaking news item is accompanied with a note that terrorism ‘cannot be ruled out’. We hold our breath as we await confirmation that a plane crash, a stabbing or a shooting has been orchestrated by a supporter of Daesh (ISIS). And even before we know the motive of an attack, we’re gripped with fear as we realise it could have been us or someone we know.

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