Speeches Shim

January 19, 2021

Advancing international religious freedom is a major foreign policy priority of the United States with bipartisan support. The United States seeks to reduce levels of religious persecution, bias and discrimination; reduce faith-related violent extremism and terrorism; and track and prevent potential mass atrocities through early warning systems. USAID’s support for religious and ethnic pluralism is an essential part of these efforts to advance human rights and foster self-reliant and inclusive societies.

January 5, 2021

It’s mid afternoon in Amman, Jordan and the USAID-supported Habibi Valtiberina Association facility in Saint Joseph Parish Church is bustling in preparation for the day’s business. The Italian organization runs the Saint Joseph Pizza Project, a program that provides culinary and food service training to Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS persecution in northern Iraq. The trainees practice their skills in a full service restaurant situated in the church complex. The kitchen is full of energy as a group of chefs chop colorful vegetables, mix pizza dough, and lay fresh pastas out to dry.

September 22, 2020

In June 2014, ISIS took over Mosul, beginning the most dreadful years of Asmaa’s life.

Asmaa, then a junior studying Business Administration at the University of Mosul, was forced to put her studies on hold.

August 17, 2020

Noor, a high school student living in the town of Bartella in the Ninewa Plains, had her world upended when the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) invaded her hometown of Bartella in August 2014 and forced her and her family to flee. For the first time, Noor found herself living in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp with her family alongside thousands of strangers. She was homeless, not in school, separated from her friends, and sometimes without enough money to get food and other basics.

August 13, 2020

Manal is a 22-year-old Kak'ai woman who was raised in a village in the Ninewa Plains in Northern Iraq. Everything changed in 2014 when the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) invaded the Ninewa Plains, and suddenly Manal and her family found themselves homeless, jobless, and their community was displaced. When ISIS committed senseless atrocities against religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq, most of the population fled from their ancient homelands. As a result, Manal and most of her community were displaced to a village outside Erbil.