Iraq: Qaraqosh's Christians in Limbo

Collection with 28 media items created by Arianna Pagani

Iraq 24 Jun 2014 10:27

After bombings in Qaraqosh, the Iraqi government has decided to evacuate the entire town. About 5,000 families have taken refuge in the city of Erbil, where schools and sports centers have been made available by local volunteers and aid organizations.

A major city for Christians in Iraq, Qaraqosh fell to ISIS shortly after the latter's conquest of Mosul. Residents of Qaraqosh were reportedly terrorized by ISIS, who took Sharia law into their own hands, lashing one man for selling cigarettes, and killing several women found guilty of adultery. The city later suffered heavy bombardment during fighting between ISIS fighters and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Iraq Christians Qaraqosh Erbil Isis War Conflict Middle East Mena Terror Exile Isil Is Islamic Stat... Islamic Stat... Islamic Stat... The Islamic ... Islamic State Islamic Stat... Islamic Stat... Refugee Iraqi Refugees Mosul Iraqi Christ... Kurds Christian Mi... Kurdish Iraq Peshmerga Peshmerga Fo... Kurdistan Re... Iraqi Kurdistan Krudish Iraq Christianity Christians I... Exodus Forced Exodus Politics Human Interest Civil War War Zone

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 01
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Two men try to repair the electrical system in an Erbil school where Christian refugees have taken shelter.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 02
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Every refugee has to register their documents and declare the number of family members with them in order to access the school. Aside from keeping track of family members, this also helps authorities estimate how many people reside in the school at a given moment.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 03
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Children staying in the school play and help to arrange benches and chairs to make room for their belongings.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 04
Erbil
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Erbil, Region of Kurdistan, Iraq. A common example of what the refugees were able to move from their homes before fleeing.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 05
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A line forms outside the school where refugees are waiting to register with local authorities. Without registering, refugees are not allowed to take shelter there.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 06
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

High temperatures of up to fifty degrees make life difficult for these refugees. Volunteers bring blocks of ice to cool the water.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 07
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

While men are queuing up for registration, women begin to bring their belongings into the school and to make space on the ground for blankets.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 08
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Local authorities register refugees, but the lines grow longer as more displaced families begin to arrive.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 09
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Besides showing their documents to authorities, heads of households are required to give their thumbprint next to their name on the list.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 10
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A bus arrives at the youth center. Refugees who fled from Qaraqosh with little time to gather their belongs or decide where to go are often relocated by local authorities. A man waits to be moved to another center.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 11
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

The UNHCR greets the refugees when they arrive in a school provided by the municipality. They have to record each arrival carefully.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 12
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

During the first hours of the afternoon, some refugees are moved from a youth center to schools of the district of Ankawa. Classes are out for the summer, so the municipality has made the schools available to refugees fleeing the Islamic State.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 13
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A newborn child struggles to sleep after the many hours spent on the road to Erbil.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 14
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

UNHCR had little time to prepare for a large influx of refugees arriving at first light. They distributed food and aid, but finished their supplies with many people still waiting in the room.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 15
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A woman pleads with UNHCR workers after the food and aid they had distributed ran out.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 16
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A woman has asked to have more food for their families, but the supplies are not enough for everyone and must be distributed fairly to keep order in the makeshift shelter.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 17
Mossul, Provincia Di Mossul
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Members of the church of St. Joseph in Ankawa bring food and aid to the youth center to be distributed to families seeking refuge from the onslaught of ISIS in Qaraqosh.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 18
Mossul, Provincia Di Mossul
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A mother receives aid from Christian volunteers who arrived by truck with food and medicine.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 28
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Humanitarian NGOs help place refugee families in the empty spaces of a youth center in Erbil and distribute mattresses and blankets for them.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 19
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

A refugee woman dons her cross. Prayer is an important part of survival for these refugees, who pray that the situation will improve as soon as possible and they will be able to return to their homes.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 20
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

The advance of ISIS towards Christian towns in Iraq's north has generated fear and caused families to flee to the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil. Each generation of these families lives this fear differently, and often the older family members care for the emotional wellbeing of the young.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 21
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

An old woman fled Qaraqosh at night. She tries to find a moment to pray amid the fear and confusion.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 22
Mossul, Provincia Di Mossul
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Children tried to rest comfortably, spreading blankets on the floor amid the confusion of arriving refugees and local volunteers trying to organize their aid packages.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 23
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Faith and hope kept families together in difficult moments. A man has a cross tattooed on him at night.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 24
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

In the first few hours of the morning, trucks with supplies arrive at the youth center in Erbil. Men, women and children help the volunteers deliver aid.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 25
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

M. was an English teacher in Qaraqosh. She recounts the fear and sadness of being forced to flee her home in the middle of the night.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 26
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

Once refugees arrived in Erbil, providing them with food and water was the top priority of local volunteers.

Thumb sm
Christians escaping from Qaraqosh 27
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
24 Jun 2014

After bombings in Qaraqosh, the local government has decided to evacuate the entire town. About 5,000 families have taken refuge in the Kurdish city of Erbil. Schools and sports centers have been made available by local volunteers and aid organizations.