The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq

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The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq
AbbreviationCYCI
FormationJune 2015
FounderSteve Maman[1]
FocusAnti-sex slavery,
Combatting human trafficking
LeaderSteve Maman
WebsiteLiberationIraq.com

The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq or CYCI foundation is a Canadian non-profit organization that aims to free Christian and Yazidi women captured and forced into sex slavery by ISIS.[2][3]

History[edit]

In 2014, Steve Maman connected with negotiators in Baghdad, Iraq to build a network to rescue Yazidi and Christian women and girls sold into sexual servitude by ISIS.[1][4][5] Maman founded the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq in June 2015.[6][7] Maman often visited Morocco and Iraq to purchase vintage cars to bring them back for his classic car dealership based in Montreal.[8] During this time, he made contacts that would go on to help build his network of brokers within the ISIS-controlled areas.[8]

In June 2015, Maman founded the CYCI foundation with a team of negotiators in Iraq who would rescue the girls by paying brokers.[1][9] The foundation started raising funds for their operations through volunteer donations and a GoFundMe account.[8][1] Maman currently serves as the president of the foundation.

In August 2015, Gill Rosenberg, the first female foreigner to join YPJ forces fighting ISIS joined the organization as a volunteer.[10]

Negotiations[edit]

The CYCI foundations is primarily involved in negotiating with brokers in ISIS controlled territories for the release of captured Yazidi women and girls.[1] The organization releases funds to their members based in Iraq who pay brokers for releasing the women.[11] The organization first takes the rescued women and girls internally displaced persons camp in Kurdistan and later makes efforts to re-unite them with their families.[12] CYCI raises funds through donations made on the official website and through crowdfunding portals including GoFundMe.[8][13] According to Maman, each rescue costs between $1000 to $3000.[12][14]

Criticism[edit]

Members of the Yazidis community which includes Babasheikh Kherto Ismael, the Yazidi spiritual leader,[15]and those involved in outreach and humanitarian support dispute Maman's work and call for a greater transparency and oversight in the work with minority populations fleeing Iraq.[16]

Steve Maman[edit]

Steve Maman
Born (1973-03-01) March 1, 1973 (age 46)
Casablanca, Morocco
ResidenceMontreal, Quebec
NationalityCanadian
OccupationBusinessman, entrepreneur,
founder of the liberation of christian and yazidi children of iraq (cyci)

Steve Maman, (born March 1, 1973), is a Canadian businessman, entrepreneur, social worker, and the founder of the CYCI foundation.[6][12] Maman was born in Morocco on March 1, 1973, and was raised in Montreal, Canada where he became a vintage car dealer.[8][1] Maman is married and is a father of six.[12]

Maman has often mentioned Oskar Schindler as an inspiration for the organization in his interviews[4][17] and is often referred to as Jewish Schindler by news portals.[9][18][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Jewish Schindler rescues Iraqi girls from slavery". Toronto Star. August 15, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Canadian 'Schindler' saves Christians, Yezidis from ISIS". Rudaw. August 23, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Canadian volunteers helping former ISIS slaves rescued by 'Jewish Schindler'". Global News. December 4, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Jewish Businessman Rescuing Yazidi and Christian Women from ISIS". Arutz Sheva. August 8, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Montreal Businessman Says His Jewishness Stirred Efforts To Save Children From ISIS". The Jewish Week. August 25, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "One man's mission to free Yazidi women from ISIS". Fusion. January 28, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "They raped us – I thought my baby would be Daesh': Teenage Yazidi sex slave tells how she escaped from ISIS – but had to leave her child behind". Daily Mail. March 9, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Steve Maman, the 'Jewish Schindler,' opens up on saving Yazidis". The Gazette. September 2, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Q&A STEVE MAMAN: 'JEWISH SCHINDLER' SAVES GIRLS FROM ISIS". Canadian Jewish News. August 21, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "The curious case of Gill Rosenberg". The Jerusalem Post. August 14, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Steve Maman, the 'Jewish Schindler', working to rescue young women taken by ISIS as slaves". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. August 19, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d "Montreal Jew frantically negotiates for release of IS's Yazidi sex slaves". The Times of Israel. August 19, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  13. ^ ""Jewish Schindler" Saves Hundreds of Christian Sex Slaves From ISIS". Vocativ. August 20, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Canadian Man Dubbed 'Jewish Schindler' for Saving Yazidi Sex Slaves From ISIS". Haaretz. August 27, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "Yazidi Leaders Demand 'Jewish Schindler' Prove He Has Saved Lives". Haaretz. August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  16. ^ Browne, Rachel (August 26, 2015). "Yazidi Leaders Want Proof 'Jewish Schindler' Saved 128 Women and Children From the Islamic State". VICE News. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "A Canadian Businessman Inspired by Oskar Schindler Is Buying Back Christians and Yazidis Captured by Islamic State". The Blaze. August 11, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "Montreal's 'Jewish Schindler' Rejects Accusations That He Is Doing More Harm Than Good". The Forward. September 4, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.

External links[edit]

liberationiraq.com