What these amazing Iraqi women are doing with this ISIS insult - News - Bible Society

What these amazing Iraqi women are doing with this ISIS insult

When Mosul was captured by Isis in 2014, many Christians in the west changed their social media profile pictures to the Arabic 'n' sign – the symbol used by ISIS to identify Christians. But now these Iraqi Christians have found another use for the sign... 

When ISIS captured Mosul in 2014 they branded the houses of Christians with the Arabic letter N, 'nun', for Nazarene; to indicate the inhabitants were followers of Jesus. Christians were given three options: pay a fine, flee or be killed. 

Unable to pay the fine, many Christians fled and now live as displaced people in surrounding countries – or perhaps even further afield.   

At the time, many Christians in the western world changed their social media profile pictures to show solidarity with Iraqi Christians. Perhaps you were one of them.

But now the 'nun' symbol has a new purpose.

While in Jordan, we met a group of amazing Iraqi women who are embroidering bookmarks with the nun symbol. Unable to get jobs in Jordan due their nationality, they're selling these bookmarks to make a living. 

The idea came from Lina, our project coordinator in Jordan, who is a refugee herself, having fled Syria 23 years ago. She's been working for Bible Society in Jordan for 17 years. 

It restores my dignity

'When I first started working at Bible Society the embroideries we sold in our shop were very expensive. I knew how to do it myself. So I thought, “Why not help the girls and women who can do this and give them a chance to earn the money?”' Lina says. 'I bought the sewing kits. They can work at home and not get into trouble for leaving the house.'

Making the bookmarks is having a big impact on women in Jordan. 

'The money from that means that I can buy shampoo and basic medicine if someone is ill,' Maryam explains. She hadn't sewn before Lina introduced her to making bookmarks, but now it's her only source of income. 'It restores my dignity because I can do this. I love the idea of it and like sewing them all.'

What had been a sign of loss, has become a sign of life. 

Thank you for standing in solidarity with Christians forced to flee Iraq.


We've brought back a limited number of bookmarks with us from Jordan. We're making these available to people who make a donation to help our work in the Middle East. Get your bookmark today

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