How these brave Iraqi women are sewing signs of hope from a mark of terror

Bible Society

A group of brave Iraqi women living in Jordan have taken what was a mark of terror, and are literally using it to sew new signs of hope. 

When Islamic State began identifying Christians by the Arabic 'n' letter – which stands for Nazarene – there did not seem much to celebrate.

The Christians targeted in this way faced a literal life-or-death decision – convert to Islam, pay tax or be murdered. 

But now the 'n' symbol has a new purpose, the Bible Society reports. Iraqi women in Jordan are earning their living by embroidering bookmarks with the letter, pronounced 'noon'.

Unable to find any other work because they are Iraqi not Jordanian, they are then able to sell the bookmarks and earn a small amount to help feed themselves and their refugee families. 

The Bible Society reports that when IS captured Mosul in 2014, the terrorists branded their houses with the letter, giving them three months to convert, pay tax or die.

Unable to pay the fine, many fled and have been unable to return.

The Arabic sign for 'n' was used by Islamic State to identify Christians

Lina, Bible Society project coordinator in Jordan, herself a refugee from Syria, said that ,aking 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. It restores my dignity because I can do this. I love the idea of it and like sewing them all. 

'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?"

'I bought the sewing kits. They can work at home and not get into trouble for leaving the house.'

Bible Society reports: 'What had been a sign of loss, has become a sign of life.'

Bookmarks are available for a donation from Bible Society.

More News in World