(photo: Gabriel Delmonaco)

Goodbye to a Dear Angel

by Ra’ed Bahou and Gabriel Delmonaco

You may remember Sally. She was a young Christian woman from Iraq. A refugee living in Jordan. And a cancer survivor. When chemo stopped working, doctors said the only answer was surgery. But it cost a fortune — $15,000 — and Sally’s family had left everything behind in Iraq.

When we met Sally in Jordan, her story broke our hearts. So, we called CNEWA’s headquarters in New York and our colleagues reached out to our exceptionally generous benefactors. By the end of the day, all $15,000 had been donated. Five days later, Sally was recovering from a successful surgery.

We stayed in touch with Sally. Last May, she accompanied other Iraqi refugees on a pilgrimage to Gadara, the city where Jesus healed the demoniac in the Gospel of Matthew. CNEWA sponsored the pilgrimage. We later learned that Sally was in pain that day, but her smile never left her face. And when people asked about her health, she replied, “I’m well, thanks to God.”

The last time we heard from Sally was in September. Sadly, her cancer had returned. She soon left for France, where her grandparents and aunt live. She went to treat her cancer, because her treatment in Jordan wasn’t working. Sally’s mother phoned after they had arrived. She said the trip was hard, but that her daughter was happy.

Sally always dreamed of living in France. She studied the language. France was where she wanted to marry and raise a family. It’s painful to think of the circumstances under which she finally arrived.

After the New Year, we received a sad message from Sister Wardeh. Sister is the remarkable woman who introduced us to Sally and who does so much for the community of Iraqi refugees living in Amman. Sally had gone home to God, she told us. Her last words were for her mother. “Don’t cry,” she said. “You have to take care of my brother. He needs you.”

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Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo:CNEWA)
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo: CNEWA)
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo: CNEWA)
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo: CNEWA)
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo: CNEWA)
Everyone loved Sally. Spending time in her company was a refreshing breeze. Sally was a dear angel. May her soul rest in peace!(photo: CNEWA)

Ra’ed Bahou is regional director of CNEWA for Jordan and Iraq. Gabriel Delmonaco is national director of CNEWA U.S.




Tags: Iraq Refugees Iraqi Christians Health Care

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CNEWA was founded by the Holy Father to share the love of Christ with the churches and people of the East. As Catholics, we respond to Christ’s call “that all may be one.” CNEWA connects you to your brothers and sisters in need and, together, we build up the church, affirm human dignity, alleviate poverty, encourage dialogue and inspire hope.