Media Contact 202-225-5021

*Witness list revised*

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a Committee hearing to examine the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS.  The hearing is entitled “Ancient Communities Under Attack: ISIS’s War on Religious Minorities.”

Chairman Royce said:  “ISIS has unleashed a campaign of sickening violence, not only against Shi’a Muslims and fellow Sunnis who do not hold their radical beliefs, but against vulnerable religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria.  Many communities are under mortal threat in their ancestral homeland: Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syriac Christians, as well as Kaka’i, Shabak, Turkmen, Yezidis, and others.  The mass execution of men, the enslavement of women and children, and the destruction of religious sites is part of the ISIS effort to exterminate these ancient communities.  At this hearing, the Committee will hear directly from those who have faced this threat and examine a positive path forward, including immediate humanitarian and security needs.”

What:
Hearing: Ancient Communities Under Attack: ISIS’s War on Religious Minorities

When:
10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 13

Where:
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:
Sister Diana Momeka, OP
Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena
Mosul, Iraq
Note: She was forced to flee Mosul, Iraq when it was overrun by ISIS, and has been providing medical services to internally displaced Iraqis in Iraqi Kurdistan.

*Ms. Hind Kabawat
Director of Interfaith Peacebuilding
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University
Note:  She has trained hundreds of Syrians in multi-faith collaboration, civil society development, women’s empowerment, and in negotiation skills throughout the Middle East, including Aleppo, Syria.

Ms. Jacqueline Isaac
Vice President
Roads of Success
Note:  She is Vice President of Roads of Success, a non-profit organization striving to advance human rights in the Middle East, and working to promote the welfare of refugee women and girls from Iraq and Syria.

Katharyn Hanson, Ph.D.
Fellow
Penn Cultural Heritage Center
University of Pennsylvania Museum
Note:  She is the Program Director for the Archaeological Site Preservation Program at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq. She has published and curated international museum exhibits on the looting and destruction of ancient cultural sites.

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