It has been a few years since I have given updates on the Mount Ararat Discovery, even longer since the larger world has heard much about this 2008 discovery made near the top of Mt Ararat in Eastern Turkey by Kurdish native Ahmet Ertugrul (our Parasut) and announced to the world in April, 2010 by Hong Kong-based Noah’s Ark Ministries International (NAMI). You recall how the announcement was immediately engulfed in controversy stemming from charges (based on anonymous sources!) that the discovery was but a fabricated plant. Investigating those charges is how I became involved with this discovery and then became its leading US defender. Since I last updated you, I have taken leadership of the scientific phase of this discovery, recruiting scientists to study and Americans to help sponsor their work as part of a comprehensive cultural-heritage endeavor that we have called the Mount Ararat Peace (MAP) Project.
As he explains in the above video, Dutch archaeologist Jeroen Rensen has completed a preliminary scientific survey. A thorough, multi-disciplinary, and most expensive investigation lies ahead. Sheila Bishop of The Foundation for Biblical Archaeology has joined with me to administer the site’s archaeological investigation. Following her advice, our aim had been to withhold news about the site until a more complete scientific investigation involving archaeological and scientific teams from Turkey and the United States with extensive review from the archaeological community could be completed.
Humanitarian emergency changes our plan!
Our plan has been interrupted due to an emergency among the Kurdish peoples of Iraq, as you have seen on the news, whose homes have been taken and lives threatened by the advancing ISIS army. Before I explain the connection between the Mount Ararat Discovery and these refugees fleeing ISIS, I ask you to consider first their plight:
You may also know from these reports that many of these refugees are stuck in the mountains with no homes to return to nor even a warm place to survive the winter. Unless help arrives soon, many of these refugees will either starve or freeze when the roads to their campsites become blocked by snow! That is the previously unpublicized emergency to which we are devoted to assisting: to let the Western world know, to remind them what happened just over 20 years ago when the Kurds of this same area were fleeing the gas attacks of Saddam Hussein. Whole families were found frozen in their campsites. The Kurds have been neglected by the world community, but this must not happen again!
News reports in the American media have been covering the situation in Iraq but little attention and outside assistance has been given to the refugees crossing the mountains into southeastern Turkey. To understand, one need only look at the video report for the Turkish newspaper Yuksekova Haber.
Though the local population have been helping, the 60,000 plus and growing numbers of refugees have been exhausting their resources. Already, some of the food assistance that you see in the above video have been depleted.
We do have a means of assisting these people through our on-the-ground partners in Turkey. Parasut is also founder and leader of the DAKUT (click here to see) rescue organization formed to rescue climbers in trouble on the mountains but since expanded to assist and relocate families from earthquakes, avalanches, and floods that beset the region. Emergency donations made to the New Beginnings Foundation on this website go immediately to the specific causes of assisting these refugees. (Click here to assist).
While our focus is obtaining provisions and shelter for these refugees, we also know that even if they survive in refugee camps, they have no jobs, no schools, no future. For some of these refugees, we have a solution to give them a permanent homes, jobs, and a bright future. As part of the Mount Ararat Peace Project, our partners in Turkey have acquired land in the Mt. Ararat region suitable for permanent homes for at least 200 Yazidi and Christian families. Those refugees fleeing the ISIS armies speak the same language and have the same pastoral lifestyle as the natives of the Mt. Ararat region. While many of these people can continue their traditional occupations here, we are expecting new construction and service jobs from our forthcoming from our MAP Project in immediate proximity to their settlement. His plan is to obtain converted shipping containers to provide temporary housing and prepare 12 months of emergency provisions, also providing basic and occupational schooling for these refugees until they obtain permanent employment. When the urgent emergency is met, our efforts and funds will be directed to this sustainable settlement.
You may wonder what this has to do with the Mount Ararat Discovery. As my website’s name suggests, my original plan was to use this portal to obtain your involvement, support, and promotion of the archaeological investigation of the Mount Ararat Discovery. The archaeological teams who are eager to study this discovery need that support, but more urgent at the moment are the refugees fleeing the advancing ISIS armies now stuck in the mountains of Turkey with winter rapidly approaching. Interest in the Mount Ararat Discovery is the only platform available to us to make Americans aware of the plight of these refugees in Turkey that the Western media and assistance agencies have overlooked. I trust that everyone interested in the archaeological investigation of the Mount Ararat Discovery will agree that our priority should be helping these refugees.
I will keep you updated on our plans and actions to assist these refugees and in the resettlement of some of these refugees. As the urgency on that eases, I promise to let you know about the history of the discovery on Mount Ararat, our plans for the scientific investigation of the site, the history of the peoples in this region, how many of these refugees find work on this project, and just what they are doing. That project is essential to giving these refugees jobs and a future.
Consider that this refugee crisis is linked to the discovery of a divine rescue that — according to the Bible and to the natives of this area who we are helping — brought our own ancestors to this very mountain to obtain a new beginning.