My name is Lilian I’m a 23-year-old Chaldean girl from Iraq. I was born in Mossul, which is now occupied by ISIS. My family moved to Baghdad where we thought we would be safe. But there too we had problems, and many of our churches and businesses were destroyed. So due to the security situation we moved to Erbil, in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, seeking there safety and better future.
As a Chaldean and Christian minority, we have been harassed for many years. For me personally it has been a rough ride as a child and especially as a girl in a Muslim majority country. My father was attacked and had car used acid thrown in his face, which caused him to go blind for couple of years. After that he was ran over by a car when we used to live in Baghdad. That’s when we moved to Erbil, in the north of Iraq, but we sadly found out that it’s not much better here for Christian Chaldeans.
I have difficulties getting hired for a job that I’m fully qualified for just because I have lived in Baghdad and because I’m a Christian. I can get hired for low qualification jobs, but jobs that I can build a career on and learn something from are not accessible. I’m a big dreamer and I have ambitions. I have always dreamed of continuing my studies and obtaining a Masters’ or MBA to become a leading member of my community with the skills and knowledge to help it change and progress and attain a higher standard of living with more opportunities.
Even though I’m Christian Chaldean woman, I want to beat all the odds against me and I want to show the world that I can be something more than just a ‘Christian woman’. I want people to value me a smart, qualified, experienced professional who has a lot to offer than just her gender and is defined by a lot more than her ethnic background.