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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

Indiana Primary Election Tuesday, May 3

Over 800 cast early ballots

The Indiana Primary Election is Tuesday, May 3. Polls will be open from 6 a.. to 6 p.m.

Pulaski County voters will make use, for the first time, the five new Vote Centers for the election.

 
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The Pulaski County Public Library has listed its special programs and activities for May. Events include a celebration of the 100th running of the Indy 500, a free comic book day, and more coloring for adults.

For more information on any program, call the library at 574-946-3432.

 
National Day of Prayer observance May 5

Ministers of the Association of Churches of Pulaski County have planned a National Day of Prayer observance from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m., Thursday, May 5, at the Vurpillat Opera House, Winamac.

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Music Jam May 6 at Opera House

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Pulaski County unemployment rate improves in March

Pulaski County's unemployment rate improved in March, dipping to 5.6 percent, down from 5.9 percent (adjusted) in February, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported Monday (April 18). The rate was 4.7 percent a year ago.

The county has 6,041 employed persons in a labor force of 6,397. Last month those numbers were 5,903 of 6,270 (revised). A year ago the numbers were 5,990 of 6,283.

 
Property taxes due May 10

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For convenience, property taxes, which are due May 10, (first installment), may be paid at any of several locations.

 
Red Cross to accept blood donations May 17 in Francesville

The next visit of the Red Cross to collect blood donations in Pulaski County will be from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, at the First Christian Church, Francesville.

The American Red Cross encourages the community to make an appointment to give blood in May and help save lives in honor of World Red Cross and Red Crescent 

 
Spring Garden Fair May 28

WINAMAC - A Spring Garden Fair in downtown Winamac will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 28 during Memorial Day weekend.

The event will celebrate gardening, food, creativity and the fun of the season. It will feature vendors, music, food, plants, antiques, crafts and downtown shopping.

 
 

Indy Star Top Stories

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Indystar - Today's Top Stories

Indiana News

First Lady Karen Pence unveils watercolor paintings

Prints part of exhibition celebrating Indiana’s bicentennial

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The full 16-print collection will be displayed in the Indiana Arts Building to commemorate Indiana’s bicentennial during the Indiana State Fair, which runs from Aug. 5 to 21.

 
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Stutzman, Young go head to head in Senate debate

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Republican Sen. Dan Coats will retire from Congress at the end of his term. Now U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who currently represents Indiana's 3rd district, and U.S. Rep. Todd Young, who currently represents the state's 9th district, are vying for the seat.

 
Farmers to receive property tax relief

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The governor’s office said Senate Bill 238 will help make local soil and water conservation districts more impactful when it comes to watersheds and areas of conservation. SB 308 provides property tax relief for farmers. Gov. Mike Pence signed both pieces of legislation into law last month.

 
 

Post News

Indiana Primary May 3: 'Who's on My Ballot?

The Indiana Primary Election will be Tuesday, May 3. Election results will be posted on PulaskiPost.com as soon as they are abailable Tuesday night.

Who will be on your Pulaski County Democrat or Republican ballots? The list follows:

 
PCPL partners with hoopla digital to give patrons online and mobile access to free movies, music, eBooks, more

Library cardholders can instantly explore, borrow, enjoy dynamic content on smartphones, tablets, PCs

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Work begins on Pulaski County Jail Garden

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