Sad memories

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Kendall K. Down

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Nov 16, 2021, 4:10:07 PM11/16/21
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https://adventist.news/news/iraq-recognizes-adventist-church-with-new-national-stamp#:~:text=October%2022%2C%202021%20Even%20to%20a%20casual%20observer%2C,churches%20in%20the%20country%20and%20to%20promote%20diversity

I remember the church well. A lovely and lively group of young people
that I always looked forward to meeting again. That was where I first
played an organ with foot pedals (and taught myself to do so). The
church was built by the wealthy Hasso family (whose daughter Serena
greatly impressed me, but alas, nothing came of it) in the days before
the revolution, when Britain was in control (via King Feisal).

There was considerable freedom for Christians under British rule and
Hasso installed a carillion in the church, operated from the organ
keyboard. By the time I came to play it, Muslims had already threatened
the congregation and the carillion had been disabled to avoid rousing
hostility.

Hasso also paid for the hospital referred to in the article. For a time
it was the leading hospital in Iraq, patronised by the king and his
officials but also offering free treatment to the poor. One of the first
acts of the revolutionary government was to expropriate (steal) and
nationalise the hospital.

My sister is tall and Serena was also tall. They were walking through
Baghdad one day when Serena burst out laughing. Apparently she had
overhead a passing pedestrian say to his comrade in awed tones, "By
Allah! Like two telegraph poles!"

God bless,
Kendall K. Down


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