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Global Perspectives, Ep. 33

From the US to Iraq: How one young man fought ISIS and survived

“We are trying our best to give hope for the Assyrian Christian community,” said Noor Matti.

Noor Matti is a brave young American man who left the United States and moved back to Iraq to connect with his heritage. Now, he is most famous for creating Babylon FM in Erbil, the first all-English radio station in the country.

In this week’s “Global Perspective with Ellie Cohanim,” Matti explains why he returned to his home country and what it was like living with—and fighting—ISIS.

On his show, he would have an “animal of the day” segment, where he would highlight a barbaric and tragic act that had been carried out by the terrorists. He acknowledged being scared, but “when you have a purpose, when you have a reason, all these things like being worried about you, threats, you don’t think about them at all.”

He said that the ISIS occupation did more than just take lives; it destroyed people’s mental states.

“It was a psychological war and not just, you know, an actual physical war of torture and killing,” said Matti. “You know, when you have a wound, you can patch it, you have medical support, but psychological and psychologically, [pain] is the worst. Because in Iraq, we’re used to deaths. We’ve had wars since the 1970s. Everybody has a relative who has died. But ISIS, it was a whole different psychological war that was really becoming like the norm until finally, we had the liberation happen.”

One of the results of the ISIS occupation was a further diminishing of the Syrian Christian community in Iraq, which Matti said is on the brink of extinction. The community was nearly 6,000 years old; but in recent years, there has been a 90% reduction in the community.

“We are trying our best to give hope for the Assyrian Christian community,” said Matti. “What we are really trying to do is sustainability—trying to stop the bleeding so that there is a better situation in 10, 20, 30 or 40 years.”

Watch it below and subscribe to the JNS YouTube channel.

It also airs on the Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS).

About “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim”:

“Global Perspectives” is Jewish News Syndicate’s newest production. Join former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. Department of State Ellie Cohanim, as she hosts some of the most important geopolitical conversations taking place in the Jewish world today. Cohanim, a sought-after speaker in her own right, interviews heads of state, policymakers, thought leaders and activists, in frank and open discussions.

These conversations provide key insights into critical and time-sensitive issues, including the Iranian nuclear threat, the rise of violent anti-Semitism, anti-Zionist activities, Christian and Muslim support for Israel, and the historic Abraham Accords.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.

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