Articles by Susan Korah
By Susan Korah
September 21, 2021
Our country of newcomers gives scant political weight to global affairs and forgets that for billions worldwide faith is essential to identity, Susan Korah writes.
The phasing out of his position, and replacement of the Harper-era ambassadorship with an Office of Human Rights, Freedom and Inclusion, has left Canada in the curious position of being the only G7 country with no envoy for religious freedom and no focused mandate to advance it as an indispensable tool to defuse political firestorms around the world In a recent webinar hosted by the UK-based Coalition for Genocide Response, His Eminence Anba Angaelos, Archbishop of the (Egyptian) Coptic Orthodox Church in London, and a prominent advocate of international religious freedom eloquently explained the role of religious identity in the daily lives of people in such hotspots as the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan
August 24, 2021
Human rights workers tell Susan Korah it’s inexplicable Canada hasn’t prioritized the rescue of Christians and minority Muslims.
At the media conference, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan and Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef (an Iranian-born Afghan Canadian) announced that Afghan refugees that Canada intends to resettle will include women leaders, human rights...
August 4, 2021
Susan Korah reports on the desperate state of the former Mediterranean oasis one year after the blast that decimated Beirut.
“According to the World Bank’s June report, Lebanon is going through the worst economic crisis of any country since the 19th century,” Carl Hétu, Canadian Director of Catholic Near East Welfare Agency (CNEWA) told Convivium in an interview The port explosion impacted Lebanon’s food supply because Le...
July 8, 2021
Susan Korah reports on the plight of global millions fleeing persecution unnoticed while our attention is fixed on the pandemic.
Whether internally displaced in their own countries or seeking refugee status from temporary homes elsewhere, these diverse groups of people are clinging to the fragile threads of their lives in tents, cramped, airless apartments or even in the streets and alleyways of countries such as Lebanon, Syr...
June 11, 2021
Despite the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Susan Korah reports, undaunted groups seek just solutions that benefit both sides.
A just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine seems as illusory as a mirage in the desert, particularly since the recent outbreak of violence following expulsion of 40 Palestinian families from Sheik Jarrah in East Jerusalem to make room for Israeli settlements ...
May 11, 2021
Ottawa’s annual Tulip Festival owes its origins to a Turkish refugee and Canada going Dutch during the Second World War, Susan Korah discovers.
Apart from tulips and the talents of refugees like the Karsh brothers, the region of south-eastern Turkey where they were born has given many other treasures to the world, including an array of ancient Christian churches and monasteries of stunning architectural beauty The brainchild of Syriac Chris...
April 23, 2021
On April 24, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden will acknowledge the 1915 genocide of Armenians. Canadian descendants now want Turkey to own its historic crime, Susan Korah reports.
For Cavoukian and other Armenians around the world, the memories of the genocide are not the stuff of myths or legends but are deeply rooted in the reality of their parents’ and grandparents’ lives Designated Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, it brings back tortured memories of a painful past mingled ...
March 26, 2021
A decade after the religious freedom fighter’s murder, Pakistani Canadians call on Ottawa to renew his work, Susan Korah reports.
Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom from 2013 until the Liberal government phased out the position in 2016, highlighted the importance of bringing freedom of religion or belief to the forefront of foreign policy priorities; also, of taking action to support the human rights of ...
March 10, 2021
The welcome for Pope Francis on his visit to Iraq was a memorable first step. Now hope must become reality, Susan Korah reports.
A calculated risk in the face of pandemic fears and potential security threats, the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq brought incalculable benefits, say members of the country’s indigenous Christian community “When the media lights are turned off and the Pope’s visit becomes yesterday’s news, it is impo...
February 12, 2021
Leading voices are urging Canada to rethink Middle East sanctions that make daily life a struggle just to get daily bread, Susan Korah reports.
If Canada’s goal is to enhance international peace and stability rather than the country’s status on the world stage as a benevolent, refugee-welcoming country, it is time for the government to lift sanctions that are exacerbating the misery of vulnerable people in countries already devastated by wa...
January 26, 2021
Susan Korah reports on a Canadian family that helped solve the mystery of a teenage girl’s life and death at Auschwitz.
A children’s book called Hana’s Suitcase by Canadian writer Karen Levine published in 2002 deftly weaves together the threads of the multi-stranded story— the finding of the suitcase, Ishioka’s search for information that took her across the world, and the Holocaust experiences of Hana and George Br...
December 21, 2020
Saint Nicholas lives in the spirit of all who give gifts and life to those in the darkness of violence and poverty, Susan Korah writes.
So, if little Mariam—who fled from Syria to Lebanon in the wake of the ISIS genocide of Christians and other minorities, or little Anahit, now facing a bleak, lonely Christmas in Yerevan after her home in Artsakh was bombed to rubble — asked me the question today, what would my answer be? And he was...
December 2, 2020
Canadian churches turned red recently hoping to open Canada’s eyes to violence against believers, Susan Korah reports.
“In the year of the pandemic we need to be reminded that anti-religious persecution is increasing significantly,” said Marie-Claude Lalonde, National Director of Aid to Christians in Need (ACN) Canada, the Canadian chapter of the charity “Red Wednesday is an event aimed at highlighting the persecuti...
October 19, 2020
Most Canadians would struggle to find the remote Caucasus region on a map but that doesn’t mean our hands are clean, Susan Korah writes.
“We (Middle Eastern Christians) stand in solidarity with Armenians, because Armenia welcomed and sheltered many of our people when we were driven out of our homelands by ISIS and other extremists” Nuri Kino, a Syriac Christian journalist with roots in Turkey told Convivium in an interview from his h...
September 25, 2020
Despite historic pacts between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Middle East peace remains a chimera if Lebanon is left behind, Susan Korah writes.
In a region that is notorious for authoritarian theocracies that violate the human rights of their minorities with impunity, Lebanon, despite its many faults, is the lone flag bearer of democratic values and freedoms including the right of freedom of religion and belief in the Arab world “The weake...
August 10, 2020
Canadian NGOs are meeting the challenge of keeping aid dollars from disappearing into corrupt pockets after the explosion that shredded the Lebanese capital, Susan Korah reports.
The Beirut explosion seems like the denouement to the unfolding tragedy of Lebanon, a country where high unemployment, an economic meltdown, burdensome taxes, staggering inflation that left its currency virtually useless, and covid-19 were already taking their toll Catholic Near East Welfare Agency ...
August 4, 2020
Northern Iraqi religious refugees who fled ISIS-generated genocide six years ago fear Ottawa is turning the page on its promise to help them heal, Susan Korah writes.
The Canadian director of the international advocacy organization Yazda said intense media focus on 2018 Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad failed to produce long-term support for Yazidis They are slowly learning that Canada is actually part of the coalition fighting in Syria and Iraq but they are astoun...
July 15, 2020
Turkey’s decree turning Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a mosque was as predictable as an earthquake. Canada’s silence about potential aftershocks is eerily baffling, Susan Korah writes.
In 2014, Pope Francis, in a gesture of goodwill to the Islamic world, prayed along with the Grand Mufti (leader of the Muslim community) of Istanbul at the Blue Mosque, which is a short walk from the Hagia Sophia In a joint press conference with Nicos Anastidades, President of Cyprus, Greek Prime Mi...
June 17, 2020
Six years after the fall of Iraq’s second largest city to ISIS terrorists, religious persecution goes on while the world has moved on, Susan Korah writes.
A motion introduced by Rona Ambrose, then leader of the Opposition, in June 2016 to declare ISIS atrocities against Christians and other Middle Eastern minorities a genocide was defeated by the Liberal government The world was slow to wake up to this unfolding genocide, says Nuri Kino, a Syriac Chr...
May 22, 2020
Susan Korah introduces Convivium readers to an Ottawa-based Polish opera star who has lent her voice to better pandemic communication with the world’s disadvantaged.
Now in lockdown with her family at her home in Ottawa, the charismatic diva has lent her voice to an international COVID-19 information campaign designed to address a serious gap in public health communications around the world Using her acting skills and her beautifully modulated speaking voice, Ma...
April 17, 2020
This May marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale and the start of a nursing-led health care revolution, reports Convivium contributor Susan Korah.
It is an international NGO established to “honour the legacy of Florence Nightingale and other nurses and healthcare workers who have shown, by their example, how their actions contribute significantly to a peaceful, prosperous and healthy world Deva-Marie Beck, Canadian Director of the NGO, Nightin...
March 24, 2020
Refugees, who face impossible situations even in better times, are being pushed beyond human endurance by the coronavirus pandemic, Susan Korah reports.
Bhatti—brother of Pakistan’s Shahbaz Bhatti who was gunned down in cold blood nine years ago for defending the rights of Christians and other minorities in that country—explains the tragic end to Mariam’s story: Caught by Thailand’s immigration police and locked up in the notorious Immigration Deten...
March 9, 2020
Many Western women mark International Women’s Day by rungs on the status ladder, but elsewhere being female and staying alive is the ultimate victory, writes regular contributor Susan Korah.
Both El-Shafie and Nuri Kino, founder and leader of A Demand for Action, a Sweden-based NGO that advocates for Middle Eastern minorities and provides relief to refugees in Lebanon and Syria, agree that the war and genocidal campaigns affect women in a particularly intense way Stern said the number o...
February 18, 2020
A victory for Rohingya refugees at the International Court of Justice is a small but crucial step in the long march against genocide, contributor Susan Korah reports.
With the ICJ ruling on the Rohingyas, the international community has taken a small step forward, but has a million miles to go before the world’s genocide victims can wake up from their long, dark night of terror and despair to the light of peace, justice and hope. Kyle Matthews, executive director...