Vlasta Kálalová (1896-1971) was a Czech physician with a particular interest in tropical diseases and entomology. She studied medicine, Arabic and Persian in Prague, before moving to Baghdad to further her understanding of specific diseases of the area.

She established the Czechoslovak Surgical Institute in the city, becoming its first director in addition to working as a surgeon. She became so well-respected that she personally treated members of the Iraqi Royal Family. She also studied and collected local insects, which she sent to the Czech National Museum, enriching its collection with more than 500,000 specimens. She was fluent in 14 languages.

House votes unanimously to provide Yazidis refuge in Canada
Ambrose has said a minimum of 1,000 Yazidi women and girls should be brought in, but McCallum didn’t offer a target

With a freed Yazidi sex slave watching from the gallery, the House of Commons voted unanimously Tuesday to acknowledge a genocide against her people and to offer safe haven in Canada to vulnerable women and girls by the end of February.

Nadia Murad, described by the Conservatives as a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has been lobbying MPs this week on behalf of her hard-hit fellow Yazidis.

She received an ovation from the House before MPs voted 313-0 to adopt a Conservative motion calling on the Liberal government to help her fellow Yazidis within the next 120 days.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his personal assurance that help is in the offing.

“I am pleased to see Nadia again today and reassure her that in the coming months we are committed to bring in … vulnerable Yazidi refugees,” he said during question period.

The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking religious minority who used to dwell mainly in northern Iraq, have been targeted by ISIL militants over the last two years. Thousands of Yazidi men were killed, while thousands of women and girls were carried off, bought and sold in slave markets.

Continue Reading.


Mosul offensive: ISIS militants fleeing to Syria, says tribal leader

over 100,000 allied forces converge on a region controlled by only 5000 islamic state fighters


Near Mosul, Iraq (CNN)Hundreds of ISIS fighters are fleeing Mosul in Iraq and crossing into neighboring Syria as coalition forces close in on the city, a powerful tribal leader in the region says.

Sheikh Abdullah Alyawer, a tribal leader in the town of Rabia, on Iraq’s border with Syria, told CNN Monday that dozens of ISIS militants and their families were fleeing the city each day, and crossing into Syria at Ba'aaj, an ISIS-controlled crossing point south of Sinjar.

The route was entirely along corridors under ISIS control, he said. Fleeing civilians with no affiliation to ISIS usually ended up in the Syrian town of al Houl, which is under Kurdish control, he said.

Better than expected gains

Coalition forces celebrated better-than-expected territorial gains over the weekend and artillery fire pummeled ISIS positions in the encircled town of Bashiqa early Monday morning in the relentless push for Mosul.

According to the Iraqi Joint Operations command center, 78 towns and villages have been liberated so far as the operation to retake the city enters its second week.

The center said 772 ISIS fighters had been killed and 23 were detained, 127 vehicle-borne explosive devices were destroyed, two bomb-making factories were discovered and nearly 400 improvised-explosive devices were remotely detonated so far.

United against ISIS

The offensive is remarkable for both its speed and the level of cooperation that this disparate group is showing in the face of its common enemy – an extraordinary union of factions that have long stood on opposing sides in Iraq’s history, with Kurdish forces, Christians and Shia Muslims fighting alongside the majority Sunni Arabs.

The thousands of ground troops were supported from above with a concentrated program of airstrikes aimed at weakening ISIS’ defenses – the highest weekly number since the campaign against the terror group began, according to Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

“One week into #Mosul operation, all objectives met thus far, and more coalition airstrikes than any other 7-day period of war against #ISIL,” he wrote on Twitter, using another name for ISIS.

The coalition force, which vastly exceeds ISIS’ numbers, is closing in on the beleaguered city, still home to an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 civilians.
But the coalition is well aware that resistance – already tough in the open fields and small villages surrounding the main prize – is likely to ramp up significantly when the city’s perimeter is breached.

ISIS has been in control of Mosul for two years, giving its fighters plenty of time to fortify defenses, and the militants have time and time again proved themselves adept at bloody, urban warfare.

The city was important to the terror group as the cultural capital of its envisaged caliphate, or Islamic state.

‘Freed’ and then forgotten

With this weekend’s gains have come pockets of horrific losses.

ISIS executed about 40 people who were celebrating the apparent liberation of their villages by Iraqi forces, a Mosul City Council official said Sunday, citing local sources.

The official said that although Iraqi troops passed through the village where the executions took place – near Nimrud, south of Mosul – they did not leave units behind to ensure that ISIS militants stayed out.

These follow executions on Thursday and Friday, when ISIS militants rounded up and shot dead 284 men and boys, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN.

Emergency crews have been working around the clock to extinguish a fire at a sulfur factory in Qayyara, about 30 kilometers south of Mosul, that was torched by ISIS militants.

The fire, started when the ISIS militants left explosives and slow-burning oil in sulfur deposits and around the facility, has sent plumes of toxic smoke in the air, causing hundreds to seek medical help.

“My name? Yes, it’s Alan Gordon Partr—-you know what, just put it down as anonymous, would you? Thanks.”

(with many thanks to Ashles3000 over on Twitter for this one!)

This is a church in Alqosh, a Christian town on the frontline of ISIS, near Mosul in Iraq.

Only a few weeks before this photo was taken, 100 ISIS fighters were killed in the neighboring village in a bloody and brutal battle which is sadly an all too common scenario. The pastor of this church was one of the FIRST people to rush to the frontline and offer help to the wounded. He was asked by the Peshmerga soldiers, “Why are you here? You are Christian?”

He responded, “It’s exactly where Jesus would be, so I go…" 

Why Won't Anyone Admit That America Is Fighting 5 Wars?
The shameful conspiracy of silence around America's many wars.

In an election flush with conspiracy theories, here’s one that’s real: Both major party nominees, as well as the journalists who cover the election and moderate the debates, are actively conspiring to avoid talking about the fact that the United States is waging war in at least five countries simultaneously: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

This is Riven.  He’s a young Christian engineering graduate. He lives in Alqosh, a small Christian village near Mosul on the frontlines of ISIS.

At night, his windows rattle from the bombs and gunfire only a dozen kilometers away.

Riven isn’t afraid of the bombs or gunfire. What he fears most is a phone call from his neighbor, telling him he as 5 minutes to leave.

He has a ‘go bag’ on hand in case he and his wife need to leave. It has their valuables and documents.

Please pray for Riven and his town as the battle of Mosul continues.

  • More than 80 people died in three separate bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday — the bloodiest day the Iraqi capital has seen in 2016.
  • At least 63 people were killed when a car bomb tore through a busy market in the Sadr City neighborhood on Wednesday morning. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Eyewitnesses described a “thunderous explosion” that shook the ground.
  • Hours later, two further bombs struck the city: a car bomb in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood killed at least 15, before another blast in western Baghdad killed at least 7.

Syrian kids deserve a chance to feel the childish joy of running out of their houses at the sound of an ice cream truck and buying ice cream

Pakistani kids deserve the chance to go to an amusement park and feel the rush of the wind in their face as they try the biggest rollercoaster in the park

Afghan kids deserve a day to sleep in and wake up lazily to the warm glow of the sun and the sound of happy voices coming from downstairs

A young Iraqi girl deserves the chance to discover the amazing world of cake decorating and realize that she was born to decorate incredibly stunning cakes

A boy from Uganda deserves to fulfill his dream of becoming a singer because his whole family and all his neighbours always praise his beautiful voice

A little Somali girl deserves to know all the different art mediums that exist so she can explore her God given talents as an artist and mesmerize everyone with her work

A brown man enslaved in Kuwait deserves to wake up early and surprise his wife with breakfast in bed and to hold her in his arms

A little boy in North Korea deserves to feel the nervous excitement as he gets on a plane to fulfill his dream of traveling the world

A Palestinian girl deserves her chance to stun the world with her superior acting skills, a surefire Oscar winner if the world ever knew it

A Kashmiri boy deserves a chance to delve into the world of literature and be the greatest poet we ever knew

A Native girl in Canada deserves to find out she’s an amazing swimmer and fulfill her dream of one day competing in the Olympics

A Sudani boy deserves to feel the excitement of seeing a magic trick for the first time and then putting on his own little magic show for the neighborhood

An Egyptian girl deserves to find out she can make the best blueberry muffins you ever tasted and she opens her own bakery to discover she’s a talented businesswoman as well

A black boy in America deserves the chance to graduate from his dream law school and become the best humanitarian lawyer to practice

A Nigerian boy deserves the chance to wake up at dawn and go on a beach trip with his friends so they can catch the sunrise and stare in awe at the explosion of colours against the sky

A Yemeni girl deserves to feel the exhaustion after spending an entire day doing dares with her friends and she goes to sleep with a smile on her face

If they were born on this planet, they were meant to be here. Everyone deserves a chance at a life. They deserve to know peace.

The daily struggles of the children around the world should include arguing with their parents about not wearing a sweater because it’s not that cold out, not making sure they live to see another day.

Everyone deserves a chance at life.

Do what you can to save humanity. Change starts with you.

So people are dying in the Middle East, but the global media do not give a shit about Arabs unless we are involved in any “terrorist” related news. Two days ago a terrorist attack occurred on a busy shopping mall in Baghdad, that ended up killing at least 200 innocent people, followed by terrorist attacks today in Saudi Arabia. I don’t see the Iraqi/Saudi flag all over the social media, I don’t see the “pray for <insert a white country here> “? 

If the world doesn’t look at us and see us as the humans we are, then fuck you all 


Iraq - Troops liberate Christian town of Bartella from ISIS

96 people killed in Baghdad, Iraq, with a rising death toll.

40 people killed in Ataturk Airport, Istanbul.

20 people killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Violence has no religion. No tragedy is worse or more outrageous because of geographical location. Their lives are as important as anyone else’s in the West. 


More than 130 people, including many children, were killed and hundreds wounded in bombings on two crowded commercial areas in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, hospital and police sources have said.

The powerful explosions early on Sunday came near the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when the streets were filled with young people and families out after sunset.

The vast majority of the casualties came in the first blast, as a lorry packed with explosives blew up in the Karada district in central Baghdad, a predominantly Shia neighbourhood.

Sources told Al Jazeera that at least 130 people were killed and 200 wounded in the explosion which targeted a busy shopping area.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Karada district in an online statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring service.

Many of the victims were children, officials said, and there were fears the death toll could rise as more bodies could be lying under the rubble of devastated buildings.

In a separate blast, an improvised explosive device went off in a popular market in the mainly Shia neighbourhood of al-Shaab. Reports said at least at least five people were killed in that attack, and 16 were wounded. #PrayForIraq