ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Reverend Franklin Graham, the CEO of an international Christian Relief, visited Kurdistan Region on Wednesday to dedicate an emergency field hospital and he called on the US President-elect Donald Trump to support the Kurds.
In an exclusive interview with Kurdistan24, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and of Samaritan's Purse, Graham said, "I want to tell him [Trump] a lot because he doesn't have experience in this part of the world and I want to make sure that he understands the needs [of] Iraq, especially [that of] Kurdish people."
Graham is to take part in Trump's inauguration which will be held next Friday on the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Graham highly valued the fighting of Kurdish people against the Islamic State (IS) insurgents.
"The people of Kurdistan are wonderful...They are resilient and hardworking people and they had to fight for their freedom," the reverend said.
On the Kurdish-American relations, Graham stated that Americans are becoming increasingly aware of Kurds' situation.
"The American people are beginning to learn a lot more about the Kurds, and they have a lot of respect for the Kurdish people," he said.
Regarding the purpose of his visit to Kurdistan Region and Iraq, Graham said it was to dedicate the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital to the war-torn areas of Iraq.
"This is a part of the world that needs a lot of help, and the people of northern Iraq have suffered so much. This is why Samaritan’s Purse is here," said Graham.
The reverend further called on the US President-elect to understand the suffering of the Christians in Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
"The Christians who live in this area of Iraq have suffered greatly under Daesh, and they need a lot of help, and I want to make sure the new president understands that," he said, using the Arabic pejorative acronym for the Islamic State.
The field hospital in Iraq offers 50 beds and is there to treat the injured in the battle against IS in Iraq, Samaritan’s Purse website reported.
"The hospital meets a critical need as trauma patients previously had to be transported for treatment in Erbil, a one- to two-hour drive away," it added.
GRAHAM AND SAMARITAN'S PURSE
Franklin Graham, born in 1952, has devoted his life to meeting the needs of people around the world and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He has served as president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse since 1979 and as the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association since 2001.
Under his leadership, Samaritan’s Purse has met the needs of poor, sick, and suffering people in more than 100 countries.
Editing by Ava Homa