Abbie Trayler-Smith

Khurmalo Isa, Iraq

Yusra Abdullah, 23, with her children in the old chicken barn they are currently living in after they fled their home following an attack by ISIS. They are now unable to go home or move to more suitable accommodation.

"Just like everybody here, I used to live very comfortably. My husband had a farm and took care of livestock. We lived with my mother and father-in-law. We didn't really have any money but we were saving to buy our own house.

"Four days before ISIS attacked us I gave birth to our youngest daughter. I was still in bed the day they came. The attacks happened not too far from us, we could hear the bullets and bombs. We left with nothing, even the pot I was cooking in was still on the stove. I was terrified. It was terrible. We were on the road a week, every night we stayed somewhere different looking for a place to live. For a whole week we only ate the fruit from palm trees and small pieces of bread. My breast milk stopped and my baby became really sick. Finally we found this barn. You can't imagine what this barn looked like when we first arrived. The day after we arrived we had to clean the barn.

"My daughter has asthma and we didn't have time to bring her inhaler with us. At night she would choke. My husband would stroke her back and help her breathe. I didn't have any nappies for my baby, just two pieces of fabric, one for the day and one for the night. By the morning she would wake up covered in her faeces. She got really sick and we had to take her to the doctor.

"One day, not long after we arrived, the Peshmerga came and took all of our husbands outside [and] started arresting them. We were begging and crying, pleading with them not to take our husbands. They told us they were only taking them to question them for two hours but it's been two years now and we haven't seen them again. I only know my husband is in Sulymania. Three of the men have been released and they told me he is fine. Some people say that m

Object Name
Abbie Trayler-Smith
Khurmalo Isa
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26.82 x 21.34 cm (300 dpi)
10.56 x 8.4 inch (300 dpi)
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