Ghazan was a successful business owner, he owned a transportation company. That was back in his home town, on the Nineveh Plain in Iraq. He left his home when Islamic State forced them out. Now, the 47-year-old father of three works at a bakery in Erbil.
The first person you see when you walk down this busy shopping street is Ghazan. With his head sticking through the shop window, he is waiting for his next customer. When a customer arrives he skilfuly fills a plastic bag with ‘samoon’, traditional Iraqi bread. “Please try some!” he says. Anyone would think he had been a baker his whole life!
In the back of the shop, next to the dough mixer, Ghazan shares his story. Two years on he still struggles with the reality of displacement, missing his town, his church and his business. He says, “I heard that IS stole all the cars of my company. They are using them in Mosul right now.”
“It was hard to see my family displaced. We lost our home, our place to stay.”
They had a comfortable life back home but they arrived in Erbil empty handed. “The first 15 days in Erbil were really hard,” Ghazan recalls. “I couldn’t find a job, I had no income, and the rent for our apartment was high.”
Recently the church offered him a managerial position at a bakery that had been set up by our local partners. He took the job straight away!
“Although I don’t earn much here, and I have to work much longer hours then what I was used to back home, at least I can pay my rent so my family doesn’t have to live in a camp.”
Ghazan says patience is the key thing he has learned from this situation.
“I am a Christian and Jesus teaches us how to be patient. In this situation there is no other [way] than to be patient; this situation forced us to practice that.”
Enduring war after war, Ghazan has barely seen peace in his country. He hopes the future for his family will be better.
“I have lost everything, but I thank God that my family is still with me.”
A Bakery With A Difference – Click here to watch.
Please donate to our Iraq Appeal and support Christians in Iraq. Donations to the Iraq Appeal will go towards our work in the country. That includes socio-economic development (SED) projects like this bakery.