Mother and her three daughters.

Mother and her three daughters.

I met a mother and her three daughters.  The mother told the story of her family when ISIS came to her village.  Her husband and two youngest daughters (14 &15) were killed in front of her and her young sons (about 8&10), and her four older daughters were   take away (17, 18, 22, & 25).  She hid in her home with her two young sons for a couple of days and then snuck out in the night to run to the mountain.  On the mountain she was depressed and scared after losing most of her family.  She did not eat or drink, but only tried to protect her sons, and shelter them from the sun with the shade of her skirt. She stayed on the mountain for 8 days before coming to DUHOK.  She is greatly pained by the loss of her husband and children.  When her daughters were taken the two younger ones stayed together and the older ones were separated.  She has heard news that her second daughter is still alive and is being held in Syria.  Her two younger daughters were able to escape from ISIS, and are now living with her in the unfinished building (they were very quiet).  Her oldest daughter was also able to escape and told us a story of horror and pain.

She was kept with 25 girls in terrible conditions with little food, little care, and they were tortured.  They were forced to drink water mixed with gasoline, they were injected with heroine, and they were beaten frequently. She has scars on her face, and an injured leg from being thrown into a wall.  And they were raped.  She said that it was horrible what happened to them, and they were in constant pain and discomfort.  She decided that she needed to try to escape because she could not take it any longer.  She knew that it would be very dangerous to try to leave, but it wouldn't be any worse than what she was dealing with every day.  She talked to the other girls and tried to convince them to leave with her, but they were too frightened.  Only one 13 year old girl agreed to go with her.  She stole a phone from one of the ISIS, and called her older brother.  She told him that she planned to escape and needed help.  He knew that it would be dangerous, but was able to get a friend to help him to rescue her.  Their plan worked and she and the other girl are now back living with the families that they have left.

All of the family are suffering from nightmares and constant fears, but they are happy to be free and to be together.  They only pray that the other sister will come back to them.  They don't know how to keep on living in a place that is dark and cold, but they do it for an each other and for a hope for a better future.

The pictuer belong to Amar Salim