Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II visits Nineveh Plains and Erbil in Iraq

ERBIL and NINEVEH PLAINS, Iraq — Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited Nineveh Plains and Erbil in Iraq on a tour to inspect the latest activities carried out by Syriac Orthodox parishes.

He began his visit to Iraq on Thursday with a visit to the Malthu School in Erbil, which opened its doors for the first time. The Patriarch then visited Mar Mattai Monastery, where he was welcomed by local clergy and parishioners.

He also inaugurated the Star of the East Hall in Bashiqa in Nineveh Plains, accompanied by the governor of Nineveh Najm al-Jubouri, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Mar Matta Mor Timotheos Musa al-Shamani, Patriarchal-Vicariate of Zahle & Beqa’ in Lebanon Mor Justinos Paulos Yousef Safar, Metropolitan Mosul, Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk), and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and its Dependencies Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, and Patriarchal Secretary and Director of the Information Department Mar Youssef Bali.

After the opening, the Kinara Orchestra played a collection of Syriac hymns and folk and heritage songs.

On Friday, the Patriarch inaugurated the headquarters of the Iraqi Syriac Scout Association in Alfalfa Complex, where Mor Timotheos Musa al-Shamani and Mor Justinos Paulos Yousef Safar participated in the inauguration.

The headquarters includes offices and classrooms for the use of the Iraqi Syriac Scouts in the diocese.