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In March of 2003, during the Shock and Awe" military campaign, three American members of a Christian Peacemaker Team were injured in a car accident in the Iraqi desert. (One of those peacemakers, Cliff Kindy, is from North Manchester, Ind.. He came and added his memories to the presentation.) They were taken to Rutba, a Sunni-majority town whose lone hospital had been partially destroyed just three days earlier by U.S. bombs.

The peacemakers feared that they would be targeted for retribution. Instead, they were met with kindness and compassion. Dr. Farouq Al-Dulaimi, who treated their wounds, said, “We take care of everyone - Christian, Muslim, Iraqi, American. It doesn’t matter. We are all human beings. We are all sisters and brothers.” When it came time for the peacemakers to leave, Dr. Al-Dulaimi had one request: “Just go and tell the world about Rutba.”

In his book and his presentations, Barrett has been helping the peacemakers do just that. He emphasized that the barriers people erect between ourselves - along religious, national, political, racial, or economic lines - obscure the fact that, as humans, “we’ve got far more in common with each other than differences.”

Barrett, who spent 20 years traveling the globe as a wire correspondent, has found that to be true wherever he goes. The peacemakers in Iraq, he said, “discovered that ‘the enemy’ wasn’t the enemy.” Instead of being split by doctrinal and national differences, the American Christians and the Iraqi Muslims were united by the experiences and values they shared.

Barrett hopes that people take more from the The Gospel of Rutba than just a heartwarming story. Acknowledging our shared humanity requires us to reevaluate our own beliefs and actions, both individually and collectively, he observed.

Barrett expressed specific concern about U.S. military policy in the Middle East. On a return trip to Iraq in 2010, he spoke with one of the nurses who treated the peacemakers in 2003. Echoing what Barrett had heard around the region, the nurse said, “We love Americans, but we hate your violence.” With bombs and drones, the U.S. government fights terror by using weapons of terror

In doing so, Barrett believes the U.S. is only perpetuating violence and hardening the hearts of people outside the country. He looks to the Christian peacemakers as better examples of how to effect positive change in the Middle East. By going to damaged, destitute areas and acting with empathy to find common ground, Barrett calls these peacemakers “some of the best diplomats America has.”

This event was co-sponsored by the Pulaski County Public Library and the Winamac First United Methodist Church. The library has copies of The Gospel of Rutba available for checkout.

Article submitted by the Pulaski County Public Library

 
 
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Local News Briefs

CFPC annual celebration Sept. 1

Community Foundation of Pulaski County will hold its annual celebration from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Presbyterian Church, Winamac.

The public is invited to join the Foundation for a "magical" evening as it celebrates the giving spirit in Pulaski County.

 
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Rick Haschel Memorial 5K Run/Walk Sept. 3

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Are you registered to vote?

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Hoosiers to choose new state license plate

Designs unveiled at Indiana State Fair

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Visit myBMV.com to vote. Voting ends at midnight on Sept. 5.

 
Community Foundation announces grant cycles

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Pulaski County to celebrate Indiana Bicentennial with three-day TorchFest Oct. 7-9

Pulaski County will officially celebrate Indiana's 200th Birthday with a three-day TorchFest the weekend of Oct. 7-9, in downtown Winamac.

The celebration will kick-off with the arrival of the Bicentennial Torch in Pulaski County on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 7.

 
 

Fair News

2016 Indiana State Fair ends with sunshine and record final day attendance

INDIANAPOLIS—The 2016 Indiana State Fair drew to a close Sunday with a return to “fair weather” and the crowds that followed. Proof that good weather brings Hoosiers to the fair. 

On the last day of the fair a new final Sunday attendance record for the 17-day fair was set with 83,148 fairgoers through the gates.

 
Pulaski County 4-H'ers earn 2016 state fair honors

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Pulaski 4-H'ers participate in State Fair Dog Show

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Indy Star Top Stories

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Indystar - Today's Top Stories

Indiana News

How to 'fact check' politicians, emails, social media

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Bicentennial showing of 'Hoosiers' Sept. 23-24 at historic Artcraft Theater

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Post News

State Bicentennial Commission approves Pulaski County Torch Fest as a legacy project

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The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Pulaski County Bicentennial Committee and the Pulaski County Community Development Commission (CDC) to celebrate the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay; Pulaski County’s past, present, and future; and community pride in downtown Winamac, the county seat.

 
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CDC moves forward with land proposal for PC-CARE

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