Abbie Trayler-Smith

Bashir, Kirkuk District, Iraq

Yusnita Mohammed, 39, at her home Bashir village. Bashir was retaken from ISIS in May 2016 and since then its residents have begun returning home. The frontline with ISIS is still very close, approximately two kilometers.
Yusnita says: "I came to Bashir twelve years ago from Hawija. We left in 2003 after the 'liberation' from the regime. Before this crisis we were living very well. We had a two story house, livestock and a shop. We weren't worried about ISIS because we were surrounded by military and police. I never thought they would come to Bashir. When ISIS came my husband was away working. The traditional culture here is that the husband is the head of the family and women don't do anything without their permission. He told me to stay but I saw people escaping from the village on the road so I called him. The Imam was on the speaker telling people not to leave, he was saying that those that leave are cowards. That's why so many people stayed in Bashir. My eldest daughter understood what was going on and she was afraid. She was telling me not to listen to her father. 'They are shooting, we should go'. I tried to comfort her and tell her it would be ok and that her father would come and rescue us. I was afraid because they were shooting and bombing so I took my children and went to Taza [next town]. When we got there my husband called me and told me that I did well to escape because now he was having to escape from where he was as well. We went to Taza but then we saw them [ISIS] coming so we evauated and went to a local mosque. I kept thinking it was the end of our lives and they would kill us. I kept thinking about my husband who was close to the frontlines. Everyone I know got out of Bashir ok except for my husband's uncle. He was deaf and dumb and didn't know what was going on. We don't know what happened to him. After leaving Taza and going to the mosque we stayed there for seven months. After that we went to a school building for two months. Then

Object Name
Abbie Trayler-Smith
Bashir, Kirkuk District
Max size
High Resolution
3168 x 2520 pixels
26.82 x 21.34 cm (300 dpi)
10.56 x 8.4 inch (300 dpi)
3.8 MB size on disk
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