Fellow Spotlight: Juliana TaimoorazySaturday, November 18, 2017
Juliana Taimoorazy is the Senior Fellow of the Philos Project. Juliana provides humanitarian support to Iraqi Christian Refugees, and helps Christian families return to their homes and rebuild in Iraq’s Nineveh region.
Who is Juliana?
An Assyrian Christian born and raised in Iran, Juliana Taimoorazy is the founder and president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, an organization that raises awareness about the persecuted church in Iraq and helps Assyrian refugees resettle in the United States. Smuggled out of Iran in 1989 to avoid religious persecution, she sought asylum in America and obtained her master’s degree in instructional design from Northeastern Illinois University. Since then she has held numerous positions in media and the nonprofit world, and has advocated on human rights everywhere from television and radio to the halls of Capitol Hill. She enjoys reading nonfiction, listening to opera and classical music, and disrupting polite conversation with talk of religion and politics. She is fluent in Farsi and Assyrian.
Assyrian Christians are some of the oldest christian communities in the world, tracing their heritage to the Prophet Jonah’s ministry in Nineveh (modern-day Mosul, Iraq). Facing discrimination, persecution, and in recent years, genocide, Christianity in Iraq is in a state of crisis. Ancient communities of Christians were forced to flee for their lives when the Islamic State took control of northern Iraq in 2014. Since then, many of these Christians have been living in refugee caravans, or have set up temporary residences in Jordan and Lebanon. They have not been granted refugee status by the UN, and are therefore unable to work, go to the hospital, or attend school.
Juliana Taimoorazy works to raise funds and coordinate delivery of humanitarian aid such as food, medicine, blankets, mattresses and other necessities to these refugee families in urgent need. Her efforts have benefitted refugees in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. She has also organized a program to help families returning to their homes in Iraq rebuild. She has coordinated supplies for cleanup of communities in the Nineveh region, organized the drilling of several wells to provide clean water, and provided construction supplies to rebuild homes for returning families.
Why it’s important
Christians of Iraq didn’t ask to be refugees, and many simply want to return to their homes, rebuild, and continue living their Christian heritage in their ancestral homeland. Juliana’s work empowers these families to do just that.