On the night of August 6, 2014, the entire city of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq fled as ISIS approached. They arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan, but from there they began to spread all over the world as it became clear that few felt safe returning home. Wassim Faraj said: “We left everything: our homes, our studies, everything. I was an engineer. We wanted to see if we could return home, but they destroyed everything.”
Before the war, Qaraqosh had been the largest Syriac speaking city in the world, with 9 churches: 7 Syrian Catholic and 2 Syrian Orthodox. When Christians began arriving in Amman, Syrian Catholics from the choirs of the city’s seven churches found one another to create a choir in exile. Today, the choir sings songs in Arabic as well as their native Syriac, preserving a piece of the world they left behind.