Posts Tagged ‘Suffer the Children’

Suffer the Children

December 20, 2010
Suffer the Children - Andrew White

Suffer the Children - Andrew White

One does not have to spend a great deal of time in the presence of Canon Andrew White, aka the Vicar of Baghdad, to learn what drives him: His strength of faith. His love of Iraq and its people. His love of St George’s Church of Mesopotamia. And above all else his love of the children in his life and the love they have for him.

Suffer the Children is an account of the children in his life, told from his and their perspective.

I was at a dinner with Canon Andrew White and picked up four of his books

Iraq: Searching for Hope (2005)
– By The Rivers of Babylon (2008)
The Vicar of Baghdad (2009)
– Suffer the Children (2010)

the profits of which go to FRRME, of which Canon Andre White is president.

Suffer the Children, his latest, was one of those I picked up.

Talking to him before the dinner and listening to what he had to say after dinner, one thing that came across very strongly was his faith and the love of his people, especially his children. There is a special place in his heart for his children.

Suffer the Children looks at the children he knows, starting with his own strange childhood. The children are given their own voice.

We all have a childhood. Canon Andrew White is no exception. He first tells us of his own childhood and growing up. He grew up in a religious household, it was where he acquired his faith and it has never left him. If nothing else an unusual childhood. Learning of anti-Semitics, he dressed as a policeman and went and guarded a local Jewish cemetery. He spend a lot of time with elderly friends, looking after them and handling their chores. On a Sunday he went to three different churches. From an early age he knew he wished to go into medicine and be a priest. He was told he could not do both, but has managed to do both, first studying medicine, then for the priesthood.

A powerful and very moving book.

Signed copy! For my lovely friend Sian. Merry Christmas.

The children of Iraq have names

November 8, 2010

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not the nameless ones.

The children of Iraq have faces.
They are not the faceless ones.

The children of Iraq do not wear Saddam´s face.
They each have their own face.

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not all called Saddam Hussein.

The children of Iraq have hearts.
They are not the heartless ones.

The children of Iraq have dreams.
They are not the dreamless ones.

The children of Iraq have hearts that pound.
They are not meant to be statistics of war.

The children of Iraq have smiles.
They are not the sullen ones.

The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes.
They are quick and lively with their laughter.

The children of Iraq have hopes.
They are not the hopeless ones.

The children of Iraq have fears.
They are not the fearless ones.

The children of Iraq have names.
Their names are not collateral damage.

What do you call the children of Iraq?
Call them Omar, Mohamed, Fahad.

Call them Marwa and Tiba.
Call them by their names.

But never call them statistics of war.
Never call them collateral damage.

— David Krieger

This beautiful poem by David Krieger is reproduced by Canon Andrew White in his book Suffer the Children (2010).

David Krieger is editor of Today Is Not a Good Day for War, a book of poetry.

Canon Andrew White, who I recently had the honour and privilege of meeting, is the Vicar of St George’s Church in Baghdad.