Last spring, a 10-year-old Christian girl famously forgave ISIS for driving her family from their home in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Myriam's video interview with Christian broadcaster SAT-7 went viral, witnessed by more than 3 million people on television and social media.
When Myriam fled from ISIS, so did her friend Sandra. Sandra’s family first took refuge in Lebanon, while Myriam’s family headed for Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq. Eventually, both families settled into a refugee camp at Mar Elias Catholic Church in Erbil.
Myriam previously told SAT-7 she had three wishes. The first: For her message of forgiveness to reach the world.
Now her second and third wishes have also been fulfilled. She has returned to school, and Sandra has joined her. She now shares a desk with her childhood friend.
“I can’t describe the joy that I felt,” Myriam told SAT-7.
But the joy of school is unknown to most of the approximately 3.5 million internally displaced children of Syria and Iraq. World Vision estimates that 2.5 million Syrian children—including both the internally displaced and refugees—are not attending school.
Terry Ascott, CEO of SAT-7, told CT that without school, money, or dignity, these children are at great risk.
“Talk about cannon fodder for radical groups,” he said, referring to a typical student. “He’s angry, he lost his father, he has nothing to do. Offer him a gun and regular income to support his family, and he’s got status, commanding respect. Of course he’s going to go and fight.”
At the Mar Elias refugee camp, where Myriam lives, half the kids say they want to be soldiers, priest Douglas Al-Bazi told20/20. ...1