IDC would like to recognize Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for his leadership in ushering the bi-partisan Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act (H.R. 5273) through committee. The bill aims to improve the U.S. response to causes of violence, conflict and fragility in destabilizing countries. Great work, Rep. Engel!
On September 27, IDC President Toufic Baaklini (Right) met with Congresswoman Karen Handel (Left) to discuss the challenges facing Lebanon, including countering Iranian influence and the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.
On September 26, IDC co-hosted a briefing with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to discuss the Human rights and religious freedom situation in Turkey in the aftermath of President Erdogan’s elections victory. The briefing was standing room only, with remarks by Congressman Jim McGovern and Congressman Randy Hultgren, as well as experts from Middle East Institute and Amnesty International.
On September 13, IDC hosted a private Middle East Religious Minorities briefing with the Republican Study Committee for Congressional staffers. Topics included, the refugee crisis and Iranian influence in Lebanon, the targeting of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and security and rebuilding in Northern Iraq.
On September 12, IDC President Toufic Baaklini (Right) and Government Relations Director Peter Burns (Left) met with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, who is Co-Chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, and discussed how Congress can hold Turkey accountable for human rights and religious freedom violations, as well as how to get Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
On September 11, IDC participated in an International Religious Freedom Roundtable on accountability in Northern Iraq with the US State Department, the US KRG Representative, and Chaldean, Assyrian, and Yazidis community representatives.
On August 2, IDC President Toufic Baaklini (Center) met with Catholic Relief Services President, Sean Callahan, (Left) and Catholic Relief Services Vice President of Government Relations, Bill O’Keefe (Right). They had a very productive conversation regarding the needs of Christians and Yazidis in Northern Iraq and how Catholic Relief Services intends to use USAID funding to help these communities directly.
On September 22, St. George Maronite Catholic Church in St. Antonio, Texas highlighted the mission of IDC at their annual gala dinner. IDC Executive Director Philippe Nassif was thrilled to celebrate with them!
On September 18, IDC Director of Media and Communications Ninar Keyrouz joined IDC’s Wichita chapter for a local event to educate the community about the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Pictured above, from left to right: IDC Wichita chapter George Saghbini, Director of Media and Communications Ninar Keyrouz, Rev. Sherman Orr of the SEAS Catholic Church in Wichita, Father Paul O’Callaghan Dean of the St. George Antiochian Cathedral In Wichita and Nahrein Enwiya, Assyrian American activist.
On September 14, IDC Detroit Chapter leader had an opportunity to meet with President Trump in the White House and advocate for continued U.S. support for Lebanon.
On September 10, IDC’s Atlanta Chapter met with Congresswoman Karen Handel and asked for her co-sponsorship of bills IDC is currently supporting in Congress regarding recognition of the Armenian Genocide and a Call-to-Action for the Egyptian Government to improve the treatment of Coptic Christians within their borders.
Pictured above from left to right: Ashley Jenkins, District Director for the Office of Congresswoman Handel, IDC ATL Chapter Member Habib Osta, IDC ATL Chapter Chair Albert Johary, Congresswoman Handel and IDC ATL Chapter Member Kam Nassar.
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