Abbie Trayler-Smith

Khurmalo Isa, Iraq

Amal Hassan (name changed), 36, with two of her children in an old chicken barn they are currently living in after they fled their home following an attack by ISIS.

"My life was completely comfortable before the crisis. My family had a small farm and some livestock. I lived in a house with my husband and five children and I had no worries. Things changed suddenly when ISIS came though. That was two years ago now, in 2014. I was pregnant at the time and cooking in the kitchen at home. I suddenly heard the sound of bombing. I got really scared and I started to bleed. ISIS were at the back of the village and the Peshmerga was at the front and we were stuck in the middle. At 11am my husband came home and we ran away. We had to run like turtles, slowly, so that we didn't get shot. We had to keep hiding all the way. We ran for an hour like that and then we got to a car and made it to another village where we stayed for two days. I was bleeding all the time we were running but when we reached the other village it stopped and I felt a lot better. We had relatives in that village and we stayed with them. We heard that the Peshmerga had run away and that ISIS had taken control of our village but after two days we were able to go back because even though ISIS controlled that area they weren't in our village. That was the first time we ran away.

"After we came home my husband was arrested for supporting ISIS. They took him when he was working in Qaratapa. That's where he used to work as a taxi driver. I went to speak with the head of the Asaish (Kurdish security forces) to ask why he had been arrested and he told me that he was arrested because he is from a tribe that is known to support ISIS.

"Then the Peshmerga came and the fighting started again. We were scared we would be hit by indirect fire as our village was caught in the middle again. The second time we ran away we came here to this barn because in all the villages we went to we needed money

Object Name
Abbie Trayler-Smith
Khurmalo Isa
Max size
High Resolution
3168 x 2520 pixels
26.82 x 21.34 cm (300 dpi)
10.56 x 8.4 inch (300 dpi)
2.7 MB size on disk
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