BAGHDEDE, Iraq — President of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Nadine Maenza extended her condolences to the families affected by the devastating fire at the Al-Haytham Wedding Hall on 26 September in the Nineveh Plains town of Baghdede (Qaraqosh / Hamdaniya), Iraq, that killed over 100 members of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian community.
After arriving in Baghdede, Maenza engaged in meetings with officials from the Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyo, HBA). The welcoming reception took place at the HBA headquarters, where Maenza, accompanied by a party delegation, visited families impacted by the heart-wrenching events of the wedding hall tragedy.
In a gesture of solidarity and support, Maenza also paid visits to Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Mar Benedict Younan Hanno and Baghdede District Attorney Issam Behnam Matti and listened to their insights regarding the underlying causes of this tragic incident.
Such deep sorrow from #Syriac–#Assyrian–#Chaldean Christians in #Baghdede #iraq who lost family members in wedding fire killing 120+ with 80+ injured. Appreciated time with them & Hamdaniya Mayor Issam Bahnam Matti & Archbishop Benedectos who humbly serve this broken community. https://t.co/s1uZLQfLKs
— Nadine Maenza (@nadinemaenza) October 10, 2023