Stories of survival from Iraqi men and women who have struggled and persevered through more than a decade of conflict — from the twilight of Saddam Hussein’s reign, the US invasion in 2003, years of sectarian conflict, and the rise of ISIS.
Khatoon Khider used to sing folk songs about the suffering of her people, the Yazidi religious minority. After ISIS overran her hometown in northern Iraq, she put down her tambur instrument and picked up a gun, forming the first all-female Yazidi peshmerga battalion to fight the militant group.
For two years, Ismail al-Kanon and his mother, Jandar Nasi, were captives of ISIS. More than most living under the terror group’s rule, they had reason to expect that they would never escape — because they were Iraqi Christians. Here is the story of how they kept their faith, survived and escaped.
This Iraqi decided to become an English teacher while US troops were stationed in his town south of Mosul. When ISIS took over, they forced him — with death threats — to keep teaching, but to teach their version of facts.