THE GIRL WHO FORGAVE ISIS
In December 2014, a SAT-7 KIDS crew visited Iraqi Kurdistan, where they planned to tell the stories of child refugees who had fled from ISIS. But in a camp in Erbil, something even more profound took place. Presenter Essam Nagy met a little girl who would change his life and inspire millions around the world.
Nine-year-old Myriam was from Qaraqosh, the largest Christian town in the Nineveh plains. She loved watching SAT-7 and was delighted to talk to Essam on camera.
Despite her suffering, Myriam said she felt grateful to God for protecting her family and providing for them. Then, Essam asked how she felt about the ISIS fighters who had seized her hometown – and Myriam spoke the words that would resonate with millions.
“I will only ask God to forgive them,” she said. Did Myriam forgive them herself? Yes, she replied – without missing a beat. Later, she sang a beautiful worship song.
A WAKE-UP CALL FOR ALL
Months later, the video clip of Myriam’s interview had been watched by millions and picked up by several international news outlets who were inspired by this little girl’s choice to forgive her enemies.
“She spoke from her heart and communicated something very precious,” says Essam. “It was a wake-up call for the whole world.”
Myriam’s words are powerful because they show the heart of the Christian faith, the Presenter explains. “Some of Jesus’ last words on earth were, ‘Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.’ Myriam’s testimony shows the same faith.”
Myriam prompted many people around the world to work towards forgiveness themselves. Essam’s own spiritual life has never been the same. “You can sense that the Bible is true when you see something like this,” he shares. “Since then, I have seen life in a completely different way.”
“JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING”
Five years on, Myriam’s family have been able to return home. Recently, Essam visited Myriam in Qaraqosh, filming his trip for a new SAT-7 documentary.
In Sequel of Hope, Myriam shares how her faith sustained her during her years as a refugee. She believes God protected her family home, which, unlike many others, was left standing.
“God is always protecting you, and you can count on Him,” she says. Then, with a light in her eyes, she speaks about Jesus. “He is my friend, my brother … my everything.”
Essam hopes we all take an enduring message from Myriam’s story. “I believe if people learn to forgive it can help prevent atrocities in the future.”