In Iraq, and especially in Mosul, many weren’t feeling the Christmas spirit because of the continuous destruction that’s surrounding them. To bring back the festive vibes, a young Kurdish woman volunteered to draw smiles on some children’s faces. Shaimaa Al Abbasi decided to do the job of Papa Noel or Santa Claus, and the kids in the area now call her “Mama Noel”. While maintaining social distancing, Shaimaa wears Santa Claus’ outfit, distributes gifts to the children who are living in Old Mosul, and organizes games and events to offer them the joy of the festive season.
Since she herself suffered from not being able to enjoy Christmas in this devastated city, she understands the sorrow that these children feel and wishes to reward them. Shaimaa rides her bike between old and destroyed buildings and entertains them with short sketches to make them forget the sadness and damage that was caused in their city because of ISIS. So instead of Papa Noel, these kids now have Mama Noel!
Scroll down to see some heartwarming pictures that show Shaimaa’s efforts with these Iraqi children.