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Iraqi doctor named a Catholic Woman of the Year

 Dr Suha Rassam, founder of the charity Iraqi Christians in Need (ICIN) and author of the book Christianity in Iraq, has been named one of the four Catholic Women of the Year. Dr Rassam set up the charity last year with a group of fellow Iraqis in the London area to provide financial and spiritual support to Iraqi Christians both in Iraq and in countries such as Syria and Jordan, where many are now refugees. Earlier this year, she visited Iraqi refugee families in Syria to assess how best ICIN could help them. In Aleppo, she met with Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Bishop Yuhanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Originally from Mosul in northern Iraq, Dr Rassam qualified as a doctor and later was appointed assistant professor of medicine at the University of Baghdad. She came to the UK in the 1990 and worked at various hospitals in London until retiring in 2005. Set up in 1968, the Catholic Women of the Year awards are made by a panel representing various Catholic organisations, including the Union of Catholic Mothers, the Catholic Women's League and the National Association of Catholic Families. Spokesperson Joanna Bogle said: "The awards are for women who have made an exceptional contribution to Catholic life. The winners don't receive any money, just the love, support and admiration of other Catholic women." Dr Rassam will receive her award at a luncheon at the Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch, London, on October 10. For more information visit: www.icin.org.uk