Portadown film-maker Paul Moorehead in White House screening
8 September 2015
- From the section Northern Ireland
Image copyright Paul Moorehead Image caption Paul Moorehead and Thomas Glass working on Ticking the Box
A former teacher turned film-maker from County Armagh is taking part in a prestigious conference at the White House this week.
Paul Moorehead, from Portadown, has been invited to show his film Ticking the Box at the President’s Inter-faith and Community Service Challenge National Gathering.
The film focuses on what is meant by community engagement and the ways in which it is happening.
It includes interviews with Dr Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine who helped to desegregate one of the largest schools in the US in 1957, as well as former commissioner of education Ernest Boyer.
The film was made for American higher education and has been shown on cable TV in the US.
Mr Moorehead said getting the opportunity to screen his work at the White House was a real honour.
"It’s basically the principals of American colleges, plus some international people who have been chosen," Mr Moorehead said.
"The film that I made is being shown at the President’s Inter-faith gathering and then I’ll be talking about it afterwards.
"We make films about community and faith and education, so in terms of where we’re going to, I suppose this is as high as we can get."
He said the fact his films could be used to try to help bring people together in Northern Ireland was an important part of the White House invite.
"I was told it was based on people that they felt could make a difference in the communities they’re in," he said.
"I’ll be making two visits to the White House, one a kind of meet and greet thing and the second will be to talk about the work I’m doing here in Northern Ireland."
It is all a long way from a studio at Lurgan Junior High School where Mr Moorehead – then a teacher – started making films, initially to be shown within the school.
"We started broadcasting on the internet and then we started to go out and do outside broadcasts," he said.
Image copyright Paul Moorehead Image caption Ticking the Box was made in America but Mr Moorehead said it relates to Northern Ireland
"I started into making films and the first film I made was nominated at the Learning Onscreen Awards and I thought ‘good grief’. Then it was taken up by the Department of Education and it kind of made changes to the history curriculum.
"I thought by making films you can have quite a voice."
He formed the community enterprise company LJHSTV and hasn’t looked back, with his career since landing him awards, as well as White House invitations.
"We made a film two years ago [A Step Too Far] that won the Chicago Peace on Earth film festival – best feature documentary," he said.
"We brought that back and that is being used here [in Northern Ireland] between inter-faith groups.
"Because things are so difficult here, if you make a film elsewhere and sort of relate it to here, it can make a difference."
Mr Moorehead’s US visit will include dinner with the principals of the prestigious Georgetown and Howard universities.
"I can’t say I don’t feel a bit out of my depth here, but you’re not going to miss chances like this," he said.
Image copyright Paul Moorehead Image caption One of Mr Moorehead’s previous films won an award at the Chicago Peace on Earth Awards
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Syrian Priest, 270 Christian and Muslim Hostages Kidnapped by Islamic Militants Reportedly Alive
By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter
September 7, 2015|9:32 am
(Photo: Reuters/Rodi Said)
Displaced Assyrians, who fled from the villages around Tel Tamr, gather outside the Assyrian Church in al-Hasaka city, as they wait for news about the Assyrians abductees remaining in Islamic State hands, March 9, 2015. Islamic State released 19 Assyrian Christian captives in Syria on March 1 after processing them through a sharia court, a monitoring group which tracks the conflict said. More than 200 Assyrians remain in Islamic State hands, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A Syrian priest, along with 270 Christian and Muslim hostages kidnapped by Islamic militants earlier this summer in an offensive on the city of Homs, are reportedly alive and hoping that they’ll be released after negotiations.
Fides News Agency said that Father Jacques Murad, who belongs to the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, is still alive, according to local sources, but is being held hostage with groups of Christians and Muslims taken by jihadists in August. The hostages are reported to be "stable and secure," and are waiting as local ecclesial communities are carrying out negotiations through mediators for their possible release.
"The sources contacted by Fides confirm that all the hostages are still in Quaryatayn, and specify that the news on the story of father Murad broadcast in recent days by Lebanese television network Nursat TV did not include any statement regarding the religious person kidnapped, but only reassuring considerations about his fate, expressed by another priest," the report added.
Murad was captured in May by two armed men on motorbikes who arrived at the Mar Elian monastery, before forcing the priest into his car and taking him to an unknown destination.
The monastery has reportedly been hosting hundreds of refugees from the Syrian civil war, including over a hundred children younger than 10. Before he was captured, Murad had been helping provide basic necessities for the refugees.
It was not made clear which groups the jihadists belong to, though the country has been torn apart by clashes between government forces and various Islamic rebel groups seeking to take power.
Christians have been targeted especially heavily by the Islamic State terror group, which has captured significant territory in Syria, and has forced believers to agree to live under strict conditions or be driven out of the captured cities.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained a copy of a document Christians in the captured town of al-Quaryatayn are being forced to sign, which lists 11 stipulations that must be followed.
The contract prohibits: the establishment of churches, the displaying of crosses, making Muslims hear Christian prayers or rituals of worship, the hiding of spies, offending Islamic religious beliefs, the carrying of weapons, the sale of pork or wine to Muslims, and failing to dress modestly.
Father-of-five to leave UK to fight ISIS despite admitting he may NEVER see family again
A FATHER is leaving behind his life in the UK to join the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) – despite admitting he might never see his family again.
By Selina Sykes
PUBLISHED: 17:36, Wed, Sep 2, 2015 | UPDATED: 20:25, Wed, Sep 2, 2015
Jamie McCarroll is taking the fight against extremism into his own hands
Former soldier Jamie McCarroll, 40, is taking the fight against extremism into his own hands as he feels the UK government is not doing enough to help persecuted Christians in northern Iraq.
The father-of-five from Glasgow, who quit his job to fight ISIS, has not yet explained his decision to his three daughters and two stepsons but has told them the news.
He said: "I’m leaving my life here and my kids, they’re my whole life.
"I’m giving up a lot to go over there to nothing. But I understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it."
Mr McCarroll, who is self-funding his efforts, plans to join Dwekh Nawsha, a militant group founded in 2014 to help protect the country’s Christian population.
The group’s Facebook page refers to them as "The Sacrificers" who are "doing our duty to the Assyrian people who are in need".
Mr McCarroll said: "They aren’t getting any help from any organisations, and just looking at everything that’s going on is so difficult.
"They’re being murdered all over that part of the world by Islamic State if they refuse to convert their religion.
"It’s very bleak for them as there’s no one helping them at all. The UK and US governments aren’t doing anything to help them."
Mr McCarroll admitted he might never see his family again
I’m giving up a lot to go over there to nothing
Mr McCarroll, who fought with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, said: "I don’t really think about something bad happening. It’s not something you think about because if you do you won’t last long.
"I’d rather think about going over there and helping those people than worrying about my own safety."
He is hoping to fly out to Erbil, northern Iraq, in the next six to eight weeks, where he’ll be taken to a safe house and undergo training before fighting on the front line.
It is thought more than 2,000 Britons have joined ISIS, while a small handful have also flown out to Iraq and Syria to fight against the extremist group.
Mr McCarroll said: "I’ll be on the frontline fighting, putting my life at risk, and knowing that my children might never see their father again.
"I couldn’t live with myself doing nothing, when I knew I could help."
Mr McCarroll, who joined the army at 18 and served during the Bosnian genocide, stressed there are too many untrained men going over to fight who are a liability to professional soldiers.
He said: "You need to have formal training if you want to go out and help, but there’s people out fighting at the moment who’ve not got any formal training and who’ve been there for over a year now."
Migrant crisis: Are these happy young men really timid souls fleeing war and persecution?
THEY aren’t quite the heartrending image of dishevelled, traumatised refugees fleeing the horrors of their war-torn home country one might expect.
PUBLISHED: 11:32, Mon, Sep 7, 2015 | UPDATED: 12:44, Mon, Sep 7, 2015
A group of Syrian men pose for snap using selfie stick
Indeed this bunch of asylum seekers – laughing as they take a group selfie on the Greek beach where they have just landed – could be any gang of mates ready to whoop it up on a booze-fuelled sunshine holiday.
The well-dressed, happy and confident looking group of men, ready to claim EU asylum on the island of Lesbos, serves as a remarkable counter image to last week’s heart-breaking photograph of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi whose body was washed up on a Mediterranean beach.
One of the Syrian men holds up ‘selfie stick’ to capture the moment he and his friends arrived in Lesbos – one of the two Greek Islands bearing the brunt of the mass exodus of refugees and migrants.
A series of photos captured by a photographer on the island show the group of young men doing the two-fingered peace sign and grinning with joy after making the treacherous journey on a rubber boat.
The image of young Aylan Kurdi washed up dead on a beach rocked the world
Tomorrow they will join thousands of refugees waiting to be registered on the island before they are given the go-ahead to travel to Athens – the door to mainland Europe and Britain.
The last 24 hours has seen a worsening situation in Lesbos, where violent clashes between police and frenzied crowds waiting to board ferries to Athens erupted.
Some collapsed, while frightened children screamed in their mother’s arms.
The Mayor of Lesbos pleaded for help from the country’s Government, likening the escalating situation to a bomb "about to explode".
Sypros Galinos said: "I appeal to the prime minister for immediate measures. We all have victims."
Athens has so far chartered just two ferries to transport refugees off of the island.
But Mr Galinos added: "I don’t need one ship, I need a fleet."
Alvand, 18, from Kobani, Syria takes a selfie with his friends as they walk along a railway track
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR estimates 124,000 have landed on Greek islands this year.
The Greek coastguard sad it saved more than 500 people from the water in just 24 hours on Friday, with scores more expected.
And in complete contrast, thousands arrived in Germany on trains from Hungary and Austria after being invited to settle in the country by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
However Hungary’s Prime Minister Vitkor Orban accused the migrants of targeting Germany for "a German life", instead of physical safety away from war-ravaged countries.
Politicians scramble to offer their homes to Syrian refugees
People traffickers sick ‘kids go free’ offer onboard doomed death…
Migrants take a selfie while waiting for a bus to Austria
He said the stream of migrants flowing through south-eastern Europe were immigrants, attracted by the prospect of life in Germany, not refugees.
Mr Orban said: "If they want to continue on from Hungary, it’s not because they are in danger, it’s because they want something else."
The right-wing leader, who has attracted praise and opprobrium for his hardline handling of Europe’s immigration crisis, defended a controversial package of measures that would include deploying the army to the frontier.
The prime minister said he hoped this would "hermetically seal" the country’s southern border.
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Islamic State: ISIS orders parents to MARRY OFF their daughters to its depraved fighters
TERRIFIED parents in Libya have been ordered to MARRY OFF their daughters to depraved Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, it emerged today.
PUBLISHED: 03:27, Mon, Sep 7, 2015 | UPDATED: 11:07, Mon, Sep 7, 2015
Isis has ordered parents to hand over their daughters in marriage
Sex-crazed Islamists in the coastal city of Sirte are looking to force mothers and fathers to hand over their young girls in the name of jihad.
Those who refuse could find themselves hauled before a Sharia court, with public floggings and even the death penalty amongst the punishments routinely handed down by Isis militants.
The move comes after Express.co.uk revealed how Nigerian terror group Boko Haram has sent hundreds of fighters to Sirte to help the jihadis hold the city.
The hated terror group has declared the Sirte its new capital in north Africa as part of its bid to create a so-called caliphate.
A billboard in Sirte shows women what they are allowed to wear
In a sermon to Sirte’s terrified people – who recently rebelled against their new Isis rulers – militant Hassan al-Karami ordered locals to marry off their female relatives to Isis fighters.
He said that mothers and fathers should "step up and take the initiative" by handing over their daughters as part of jihad. Isis has made similar demands in areas it has captured in Iraq and Syria, with many women revealing the horrific treatment they have received at the hands of its twisted and depraved fighters.
Black flags on Europe’s doorstep: Inside ISIS’s new capital Sirte…
Boko Haram sends militants to ISIS in Libya as map shows horror…
The Benghazi-born jihadist also declared the city, once the hometown of Colonel Gaddafi, to be part of the so-called caliphate.
Isis has declared its intention to use the Mediterranean city as a springboard from which to invade Europe.
The hated terror group has declared Sirte part of its so-called caliphate
Speaking at a mosque in the city’s third district, where an ill-fated anti-Isis rebellion was brutally crushed two weeks ago, al-Karami announced that the group will set up Sharia Law courts in Sirte to hand down brutal punishments to anyone who questions their rule. Penalties for anybody who disobeys the Islamist fanatics will include public flogging and even the death sentence.
He also said that the city’s university will be reopened in a bid to brainwash local inhabitants. It will teach a strictly Isis-approved curriculum, and men and women will be completely separated. ,
Hundreds of Boko Haram militants have joined the Isis in Sirte
Boosted by hundreds of heavily armed Boko Haram warriors, al-Karami also taunted the group’s enemies, who are trying to take back the city.
Referring to a newly formed Arab League force, which has vowed to fight Isis, he boasted: "The Islamic State does not fear the infidel apostate Arab coalition against it."
Libya’s embattled government has called for international air-strikes on Isis to halts its rapid spread through northern Africa.
Last month Isis announced plans to use Sirte as a springboard to invade Europe, urging its militants to make the short journey across the Mediterranean and "conquer Rome".
The jihadists in Sirte have threatened to turn their attentions on nearby Europe, saying in propaganda videos that they will "conquer Rome".
The fight against ISIS
Mon, August 10, 2015
The battle against ISIS militants (also abbreviated as Daesh, ISIL, IS and Islamic State) continues in the Middle East.