Alqosh (Agenzia Fides) - More than 550 boys and girls from various parts of Iraq have fled to Alqosh, a town of the Nineveh Plain, to attend the "Youth Festival", organized under the patronage of the Patriarchate of Bablonia of the Chaldeans. The days of prayer, reflection and celebration opened on Thursday evening, July 27, with a meeting with Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, who talked with the boys and girls, and expressed his joy for the participation in an event he desires and sees as a re-start for indigenous Christian communities and for all Iraq after the years of the jihadist occupation of Mosul and large areas of the Country.
The town of Alqosh, inhabited mostly by Chaldean Christians, has for three years been the closest town to the border line with the territories occupied by the jihadists of the Islamic State.
On Thursday, July 27, Chaldean Catholic Lara Yussif Zara, became the new Mayor of Alqosh, and was appointed by the Council of the Nineveh Province, controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) after the same council had removed former mayor Fayez Abed Jawahreh from office due to allegations of corruption. According to Aina Agency, a part of the residents in Alqosh continue to express disagreement over the appointment of the new mayor and consider the removal of Mayor Jawahreh as part of a political operation orchestrated by Kurdish forces to push the people of the Nineveh Plain to support the referendum scheduled for next September 25 with which the government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan intends to unilaterally proclaim its independence from Iraq. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/7/2017)