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Philos Project promotes positive Christian engagement in Near East

Philos Project is a non-profit organization based in New York. It focuses on forming leaders to promote positive Christian engagement in the Near East.

Senior Research Fellow, Philos Project
“Positive Christian engagement is learned, principled, practical, rational and action-oriented activity that defends human life, human thought and human diversity.”

Philos Project counts on a number of fellows like Alexandra Tawaifi to carry out innovative research and advocacy projects to promote liberty and justice in different countries, including Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Tawaifi explains that in Iraq, for example, Philos has launched a campaign to raise money to provide computers to Assyrian schools, who cannot afford them, thus leaving students at an educational disadvantage, especially when computer skills are so crucial in today's society.

Tawaifi, who is of Assyrian descent, says she has always felt a special connection to the plight of Assyrian Christians, especially in Syria.

Senior Research Fellow, Philos Project
“When the war started there, and I noticed that no one was mentioning the systematic persecution of the Christian, I felt like it was my call to find them a platform to voice their struggles. Of course I feel disillusioned about the rising level of persecution against Christians, but what I try to do is to find strength in my faith and in the love that I have for the people there to continue my work.”

Despite the challenge of balancing professionalism with the overwhelming emotion of witnessing so much suffering, Tawaifi says she has learned many things from working with persecuted Christians, including the value of humility and gratitude.

Senior Research Fellow, Philos Project
“There's an Arabic proverb, roughly translate, 'When you see someone else's problems, your problems become easier.' My problems seem easier in a sense, but the most important thing, in my opinion, is that my motivation shifts focus from myself to my brothers and sisters in Christ.”

This concern for vulnerable populations is essential in dealing with the ever-growing problem of religious persecution, which has forced countless Assyrian Christians to flee from Iraq and Syria.