For 25 years, Father Michael Najeeb (Dominican priest) has been carrying out a work to preserve the Christian Iraqi heritage. He travels throughout Iraq to collect different types of manuscripts, incunabula and books which he then scans. He stores everything on digital servers in order to disseminate them through the world.

In 2014, the scanning center of oriental manuscripts was created in Mosul. With the advance of the Islamic State, the center with all its collections must be urgently taken to safety. The work of a lifetime is in danger and a huge loss for the eastern Christian communities is looming. In order to erase any traces of what pre-Islamic history of Iraq looked like, any form of knowledge not in conformity with Islam is destroyed by Daesh who are burning books. And so more than 8 000 manuscripts are in danger of destruction.

The numerous manuscripts which are witnesses to the history of the region, are seriously threatened by recurring conflicts. The memory of the Middle East is at risk...

It is very important to act today otherwise an irreplaceable part of our history will disappear.

Today, facing this unknown threat, Father Najeeb wishes to expand CNMO in order to gather, restore and scan everything he can. It will also dedicate a space to the reconstruction and preservation of religious objects recovered after the rampage of IS0IS. This work is imperative so that the people can know, recall and read about the persecution and history of Christians and their churches in the Middle East.

The challenge is ambitious.

Aware of the urgency, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient finances the addition of an extra floor to the CNMO to install an additional digitization team and another one for the restoration of valuable objects collected throughout Iraq and in particular from the Christian villages liberated from the presence of the Islamic State. UNESCO has already committed itself to providing the material necessary to equip properly the digitization rooms and to provide housing to preserve the objects collected in the liberated Christian villages.

Work begins at the time we write.

That's why we need you! Every parchment, every saved manuscript is an invaluable relic.

Mesopotamia is the cradle of History; its heritage must be saved at all costs.

Preserve the heritage of the Middle East; bring your stone to the construction site.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.