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] Since June 2015, the non-profit has claimed to have freed over 140 Yazidi women and girls.[4]

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][5][6] Maman founded the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq in June 2015.[7][8] Maman often visited Morocco and Iraq to purchase vintage cars to bring them back for his classic car dealership based in Montreal.[9] During this time, he made contacts that would go on to help build his network of brokers within the ISIS-controlled areas.[9]

In June 2015, Maman founded the CYCI foundation with a team of negotiators in Iraq who would rescue the girls by paying brokers.[1][10] The foundation started raising funds for their operations through volunteer donations and a GoFundMe account.[9][1] Maman currently serves as the president of the foundation and it claims to have rescued over 140 women and girls by May 2016.[4] Once rescued, the women and girls are taken to an internally displaced persons' camp in Kurdistan and later re-united with their families.[11]

In August 2015, Gill Rosenberg, the first female foreigner to join YPJ forces fighting ISIS joined the organization as a volunteer.[12]

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.[4][13] 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.[11] CYCI raises funds through donations made on the official website and through crowdfunding portals including GoFundMe.[9][14] According to Maman, each rescue costs between $1000 to $3000.[11][15]

Criticism[edit]

Members of the Yazidis community which includes Babasheikh Kherto Ismael, the Yazidi spiritual leader,[16]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.[17]

Steve Maman[edit]

Steve Maman
Born (1973-03-01) March 1, 1973 (age 46)
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.[7][11] Maman was born in Morocco on March 1, 1973, and was raised in Montreal, Canada where he became a vintage car dealer.[9][1] Maman is married and is a father of six.[11]

Maman has often mentioned Oskar Schindler as an inspiration for the organization in his interviews[5][18] and is often referred to as Jewish Schindler by news portals.[10][19][13]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]

Official Website