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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Colour 17
kobane
By Ulrik Pedersen
26 Sep 2014

View of Syria from Turkey. Syrians are not allowed to take cars, trucks or animals across the border, so they try to stay safe by being close to the border. ISIS are less than 1 km away from the border. Kobane Valley, Syria.

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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Colour 18
mursitpinar
By Ulrik Pedersen
26 Sep 2014

A woman looking after a baby in a refugee tent near the Syrian border. Mursitpinar, Turkey.

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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Colour 12
mursitpinar
By Ulrik Pedersen
25 Sep 2014

Syrians shuffle between Turkey and Kobane. Many of those who fled Kobane make multiple trips back and forth from Turkey during moments of calm in order to collect as many of their belongings as possible. This women is heading back into Syria. No one is sure if the Kurdish YPG forces will be able to hold IS at bay. Mursitpinar, Turkey.

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Mother, Child, and Kalashnikov
Kobane
By Ulrik Pedersen
24 Sep 2014

A Syrian women from Kobane with her child and AK-47 Assault Rifle on the Turkish-Syrian border, near Kobane. Thousands of Syrians from Kobane fled the ISIS assault on their city for the nearby sanctuary of Turkey. Across Iraq and Syria women are taking up arms against ISIS.

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In exile: Iraqi women seek refuge
Bardarash, Dohuk, Rovia, Diyarbakir
By Arianna Pagani
24 Sep 2014

During the days of terror on Mount Sinjar, about 200 women were kidnapped by the militias of the Islamic State to be converted to Islam and sold in the occupied cities of Mosul and Tal Afar. This barbarism is not new to the chronicles of war.

The Islamic State's attack on Mount Sinjar led to the exodus of about 500,000 people, mostly from the Christian, Yazidi and Shabak minorities. These refugees, currently under the protection of the Kurdish militias, are living in the streets, under bridges or in abandoned places in Erbil and surrounding villages. Many of those who manage to escape the conflict have suffered losses in their family that effect them not only economically, but mentally and emotionally. Depression and anxiety in addition to insecurity are a constant challenge.

The UNHCR anticipated there to be over 900,000 internally displaced people in Iraq by the end of 2014. With the rise of ISIS, that number has been more than tripled, with 2.9 million displaced according to International Displacement Monitoring Center. The situation of internally displaced women, not only in Iraq but in conflict zones around the world, is especially precarious as the breakdown in social structures is a risk factor for gender-based violence. In their planning document for 2014, the UNHCR says it is ramping up its efforts to protect refugee and internally displaced women. However, agencies like the UNHCR as well as local associations can only care for and provide aid to so many displaced people, leaving others to fend for themselves.

The condition of the women and children displaced in Iraq is tragic: not only from a material point of view, but also from a psychological and ethical perspective. While talking with them, the elderly were crying because they don't see a future for their land, culture or traditions and were continuously asking, "What did we do wrong to deserve to be killed?" The women were mostly passive, trapped between emotions, tears, the inability to react, “deafened by pain and suffering.” They seemed to understand that as time passes by, the hope of returning to a normal and fair life fades away.

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Clashes Between Iraqi Army Volunteers...
diyala
By haider
24 Sep 2014

September 24, 2014 Diyala, Iraq Photos show the clashes between the Iraqi Army forces, along with volunteers, and ISIS, in the area of Houd Hamrin, northern Baquba in the Diyala province, 55 km northeast of Baghdad.

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Kirkuk Blast Aftermath
By haider
19 Sep 2014

A car parked in front of Al Na'eb Mosque, next to a gun store near Kirkuk Citadel exploded around 11 AM. The number of the dead has risen to 8, whereas the number of wounded is around 15, according to officials in Kirkuk (250KM Northern Baghdad).

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Former Iraqi Policeman Sells Used Clo...
Zakho
By rsoufi
18 Sep 2014

September 18, 2014
Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan

Abdulghani Mahmoud Qader is a 31 year old refugee from Zamar who has set up a small business selling used clothes to other refugees in Dohuk. He has decided to set up a his stall next to other road-side vendors outside the Zakho UNICEF refugee camp near the Iraqi-Turkish border. He hopes that his customers will be refugees from the camp as well as those traveling across the border to Turkey, and that he will be able to earn enough money everyday to feed his family, who are living in one of the camps. Before he fled to Dohuk, Abdulghani was a police officer in his hometown of Zamar. Abdulghani and many other refugees are hoping to return back to Zamar once ISIS have been forced out of the city. Zamar is located in Western Mosul, 60km away from it in the Nineveh Province.

SOUNDBITE

(01:15) Contributor: Can you tell us your story? (01:28)

(01:29) Abdulghani: "I am a refugee from Zamar and I came here when ISIS took control of the city. I opened the clothes display today." (01:39)

(01:40) "I really hope I will sell good today and get money so I can help my family. Back in Zamar I was a police officer, but I quit now." (01:55)

(01:56) Contributor: How much money is in your work? (01:58)

(01:58) Abdulghani: "Around 130,000 140,000 Iraqi Dinar. And as for the sales prices, I sell between 250,500 or 1000 Iraqi Dinar, it depends on what the item is. I have around 260 items to sell. I have sold already around 6 now." (02:27)

(02:28) Contributor: What are you going to do with the money you will get from sales? (02:34)

(02:34) Abdulghani: "I will spend it on me and on my family." (02:37)

(02:41) Contributor: Are you willing to go back to Zamar? (02:44)

(02:45) Abdulghani: "Of course yes, I want to get back to my hometown and get back to my work." (02:49)

(02:50) Contributor: What are the problems you are facing in your new job here? (02:58)

(02:59) Abdulghani: "All I want is a tent to cover the clothes from the sun and the wind." (03:07)

(03:08) Contributor: Who are your customers? Are they refugees? Do you want to help them. (03:10)

(03:10) Abdulghani: "Yes they are in general refugees. And of course I want to help them with the little money I make." (03:21)

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Car Bomb Kills Seven in Karbala
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
12 Sep 2014

September 11, 2014
Karbala, Iraq

An explosion in a parking lot at 3pm in Maytham al-Tamar Street in Karbala, caused seven deaths, ten injuries and the destruction of 50 cars. Two other explosions occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces, al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Families of Missing Soldiers, Rally i...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

Families of the victims killed by ISIS in the old American base COB Speicher, protest in the streets of Karbala. The crowd, of mostly women, wave pictures of their missing family members in the air, calling for the return of the bodies of those killed and the release of those who are still detained. ISIS attacked the base in May 2014, killing many of the Iraqi soldiers posted there and taking others prisoner. Since then the Kurdish Peshmerga have regained control over the area.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
11 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
10 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
10 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
10 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Car bomb kills seven in karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
10 Sep 2014

11- September- 2014
Karbala, Maytham Street
An explosion occurred at 3 in the after noon in Bayt al-Joud parking lot, causing the death of seven people, the injury of ten and the destruction of 50 cars.
two other explosion occurred in the exact same time in neighboring provinces; al-Hella, and al-Najaf.

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Yazidi Tailoring for Women
Dohuk
By rsoufi
09 Sep 2014

September 6, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

A Yazidi tailor has established a sewing workshop for traditional handmade clothes for Yazidi women. In their escape from marauding ISIS fighters, many women tore their clothes. Since the traditional Yazidi dress is not available in shops or the market, the workshop was established to enable women to preserve their cultural identity. The outfit has a special traditional and religious value, representing peace and purity.

Transcription:

SOUNDBITE1: Hadeya, Seamstress (woman, Kurdish)
(00:38 - 02:11) “These are the traditional outfits of Yazidi women. We are sewing them here because they are not available in the market. The design of these clothes is very unique because they have a ring called a “took” and it is a symbol for the Yazidi outfit. We will always wear this type of clothing, especially the elderly who wear white outfits, which represents purity and clarity. This is how we view our religion, as pure. I am very pleased to be doing this job because it helps us maintain our culture. We provide these clothes for free, because the person who launched this project (Ali Ezideen), did it so he can provide this service for people without for anything in return. We, as seamstresses, do not get paid. We are volunteers. We work on approximately 32 pieces per day and we meet with 20-40 women everyday. We are 6-7 volunteers in this project. We established this workshop because most of the clothes of the Yazidi women got torn while they were fleeing Sinjar to escape the ISIS terror, and this outfit is not available in the market.”

SOUNDBITE 2: Vati, Seamstress (woman, Kurdish)
(03:27-08:48) “We are volunteer seamstresses. I am very happy to contribute in this work because it serves the Yazidi religion and its followers. Also it helps maintain our cultural heritage since it represents the purity of our religion, I ask everyone to help us protect our religion.”

SOUNDBITE 3: Fayez, Yazidi volunteer (man, Arabic)
(03:27-08:48) “When they were in the mountain, it was very hard. There were no bathroom, or places to sleep, or even food, so the outfits got ruined because of sleeping on the floor and they were all torn. So Ali Ezdeen thought that Yazidi women must be really tired after this hard trip and their clothes are ruined, so he purchased an amount of fabric that we can turn into Yazidi outfits. Then they will be distributed among the women. I supervise the work of the seamstresses and Ali is responsible for the whole project. Here we have two seamstresses, one designer, and three people to take the measurements and the sizes. We go and take the sizes of the old women in the camps and the people who came from Sinjar and are staying in the unfinished buildings, then tailor these outfits and distribute them.”

Interviewer: What are the ages and categories that you tailor for?
“Only for the elderly, the younger generation can wear any type of clothes, but the old women cannot. It is a tradition, and it is very hard to find.”

Interviewer: What is the significance of these outfits for the Yazidi woman?
“First of all, the color: the old Yazidi women only wear white, it is a tradition that the elderly in the Yazidi religion should wear white. It is a symbol for the religion.”

Interviewer: What is the difference between this outfit and any other outfit you can find in the market?
“The difference is you cannot find these outfits in the market, they have to be tailored upon request and they cannot be found in ay shop. The Yazidis are a minority, and their outfits are not widely produced. They do not come from Europe like every other outfit. They are very rare.”

Interviewer: Is it considered a good thing to wear this kind of outfits?
“Yes to wear this is a good thing, and they do not wear anything but those outfits. It is mentioned in our book that the blue color is forbidden for the elderly.”

Interviewer: But you are wearing blue
“Yes but as I said, it is only forbidden for the elderly.”

Interviewer: How many pieces do you tailor per day?
“About 32-40”

Interviewer: Is it for men and women?
“No only for women.” Interviewer: What do you ask from people?
“I ask for help from anyone who can to help this religion, because it has suffered a lot throughout the years. I wish everyone can do charity work and help other such as Ali Ezdeen. This person donated everything he has for the Yazidi refugees.”

Interviewer: Do you consider this work as a service for your religion?
“Yes of course, we feel like we are helping ourselves by doing this kind of work, it is different from when someone gives you money or a place to stay. We feel like we are helping ourselves by working in this workshop.”

SOUNDBITE 4: Yazidi woman standing in front of the tent with a child (woman, Kurdish)
(10:36-11:13) Interviewer: Why are you wearing white?
“It is our custom and our culture.”

Interviewer: How so?
“It is the culture of the Yazidis”

Interviewer: Do you always wear this outfit?
“Yes”

SOUNDBITE 5: Yazidi woman (woman, Kurdish)
“I am very content with our outfits, it is our cultural heritage, and while we were coming through the mountain, most of our clothes got torn, but still I will always wear the white outfit.”

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Life after ISIS in the City of Makhmour
Iraq , Makhmur
By Jawdat Ahmed
08 Sep 2014

September, 7, 2014
Makhmour, Iraq

Despite the Kurdish Peshmerga reclaiming control over Makhmour, the city in the Kurdish controlled part of Iraq, is still reeling from the aftermath of ISIS' occupation. Over 60% of residents have fled to Erbil while those who cannot afford to do so have returned to find their houses pillaged and, in some cases, destroyed. Many are now sleeping outside on the sidewalk or on top of roofs to guard their homes from robbers. If you roam around the city, you will find empty streets and closed shops while the Kurdish flag flies on governmental buildings. There are also reports of some Arab families running away to join ISIS, but for the families that stayed or have returned, it will take some time to piece their lives back together.

Transcription:

SOUNDBITE 1: Ibrahim Sheikh Alla, Director of the District Officer (man, English)

SOUNDBITE 2: Ali Hasam, citizen (man, Kurdish): “We demand all citizens to return to the areas under the control of the Kurdish forces, to protect the homes from the robbing that is happening. People are afraid because they know that ISIS is very close to Makhmour now and because Arab families in the area, such as the citizens of Baqert, are supportive of ISIS.”

“We have extreme security measurements for protection at the moment, and the situation of the market is bad.”

SOUNDBITE 3: Mohamad Sultan, taxi driver (man, Kurdish)
“Many people are afraid now, they are sleeping outside their homes on the look out for any ISIS attack. You can no longer hear anybody speaking Arabic around the area now. ISIS took over my house for four days, they used my clothes, ate my food, and broke into my vault and stole everything, including my passport and my keys.”

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Iraqi Armenian Self- Defense
Hauresc
By rsoufi
08 Sep 2014

Hauresc, Iraq
September 5, 2014

Murad Maderos Vartanian, the Armenian mayor of the town of Hauresc (30km west of Dohuk) has formed a force of Armenian armed volunteers to protect his town from ISIS. At a time when many Christians are fleeing their homes, the mayor has supplied weapons to a group of civilians and organized patrol shifts, in case of attack. Murad Vartanian is the owner of many weapons, some of which hang on the wall in his home. He is also providing weapons to other mayors in the area so that they can also protect their towns.

(00:16)

"we are volunteers, we volunteered to defend our village and the borders of the neighboring villages. we are close to the water, so the only danger is from the side of the water, they are on that side and we are on this side. we support the Peshmerga forces, the champions, and for nothing in return, this is our country, and this is a critical situation, and when a situation like this happens, a person should prove himself. and all the people in the village, even the ones under the legal age, they all wanted to volunteer, but i said no, and I chose the adults who are able to use weapons. so we have 36 volunteers from my village and their names are registered and they are ready in any minute to defend our land and our borders".(01:03)

(01:09)

"this is an Armenian village, but we have almost 18 Assyrian families with us, we are all brothers, and there is no difference between us, we are all Christians. However, the village is an Armenian village, and a known thing about Armenians is that they are brave people, who stand for their principles. Our fathers and grandfathers made a promise to al-Barazani to support him, and now we make a promise, in the name of Hauresc village, and every Armenian who supports us, we promise president Masood al-Barazani, to support the Peshmerga forces, and to be ready for any duty". (01:54)

(01:57)

Interviewer: what are the original jobs of those volunteers?

"Those men you seen, used to originally be either security guards here in the village, and a part of them used to work in agriculture like me, and a part used to work in mechanics, and another part used to work in the airport, but whenever I need them, they leave everything and all their jobs and be at my service".

Interviewer: the borders are open, and sometimes that can be dangerous, so how do you manage to keep monitoring the borders and how many hours per day? is it a full shift? or the sometimes the borders left unwatched?

"There is ISIS on the other side of the sea, so in cooperation with the Peshmerga forces and the other security forces in the area of Bateel, and we should thank the responsible for the part committee and the security responsible in the area of Bateel. The Peshmerga forces are controlling one side of the dam and ISIS is on the other side, so we feel that it is dangerous, so we do not wait for them to surprise us, a person should anticipate, and for this reason we always go on shifts, and we are always on the watch, we go in coordination with the Peshmerga, we take spots on the front line, till the sunrise, then we go back, we do that for a two or three days, then we go whenever they need u, using our private cars".

Interviewer: are you the leader of this brigade?

"It is not a brigade, it is an armed group that is named Nawroz, and we are very proud of this name. we are here supporters of the Kurdish democratic party, and we have 47 members of the party from this village.

(03:59)

Interviewer: can you tell us where did you get all of these weapons that you are using?

"A part of the weapons is owned by the individuals who guard the village, and the bigger part of the weapons is my personal property, and we have shifts of duties to do, I distribute them to the men, and after they are finished with them, they bring them back to me, so all the weapons can be in one specific place"

Interviewer: As an Armenian minority, you have carried weapons to defend your land, what do u demand of the other minorities?

"each person has the right to decide his faith, and most of the inhabitants of my village are convinced that this is land belong to our grandfathers, and the Christians are not strangers from this land, Christians have roots, have culture, and they have a huge effect on this area, so it is unfortunate for a group of our people to leave the village and immigrate. I speak what i believe is right, and I say, the person who leaves his land is like the fish that leaves the water, he loses his identity, he wants to go to western countries, he can go, but he needs to be certain that he will lose his identity, he nationality will melt among the various nationalities just the way salt melts in water, so I ask them to remain in their land, and this difficult period of time will pass, if we stick together, it will pass". (05:46)

(05:51)

"These are old weapons, of course we keep the old weapons because it reminds us of our ancestors, those old weapons are what our ancestors used to get us to this time and age, those first few weapons, we call them Herly from the year of 1890, the ones behind are from the year of 1917, and those are hunting rifles, and this rifle, I personally adjusted it and turned it into a sniper rifle". (06:22)

(06:26)

"The link between the Kurds and the Armenians is historical, the Kurds and the Armenians come from the same ethnicity. 3,000 years go, the Kurds, the Armenians, and the Arameans came from the South-East of India to the area of Kokaz, so if we go back to out ancestors, we will unite, we will unite to have common ancestors, and this is happening in our modern days. there is an area called Rowandoz in Kurdstan, Iraq, still till this moments holds the graves of Armenian martyrs.

so we are living in Kurdstan, under the flag of Kurdstan, but we do not forget our heritage, we are Armenians but we are honored to be living with such a cooperative population, the population that holds all the minorities and different ethnicities. we are very proud of the Armenian parliament member, this is the first time this happens, a parliament member represents the Armenian minority inn Kurdstan. (07:45)

(08:05)

Interviewer: many minorities, christians, yazidis, have left their land and escaped, but what about you, aren't you afraid of ISIS?

"I already told you, without flattering the Armenian ethnicity, but Armenians are brave people, we do not differentiate between an enemy that is ISIS or other than ISIS, an enemy is an enemy, and any enemy who tries to take over our land, we will fight him, no matter where this enemy comes from, this is our land, our dignity, against ISIS or any other enemy"

Interviewer: what about the other areas, where people had to flee, did they refuge here? how are they doing?

"If you are talking about he the areas controlled by ISIS, Qaraqosh, Merki, Bartella, and Batnaya, almost 82 families came here, and when things started happening in Sinjar, almost 10 families came from Sinjar. we took them in our houses, and in the hall of the village. and all the inhabitants of the village ready to serve them day and night, to get them water and all of their necessities. you can ask them personally, and the people who refuged to my village are more comfortable than the people who refuged to any other villages, because we try to serve their every need, and it is our duty, our mission is to protect them and to protect our village". (09:48)

(10:03)

"The regular mission is when the men go around the village and take spots to watch, around the clock, and sometimes we have to go outside the village, so we gather ourselves and head to the point where we are assigned to go by the party committee in Bateel.". (10:21)

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Yazidis Smuggle Themselves Into Turkey
Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan
By rsoufi
31 Aug 2014

August 31, 2014
Zakho, Iraq

Thousands of Yazidi refugees who where displaced from their homes in Sinjar, are seeking a new life outside of Iraq. The minority, who ISIS branded as "devil worshipers", fled their homes in Sinjar to apparent safety in Kurdish controlled Dohuk, where they lived in makeshift refugee camps. However, having lost any hope of ever returning to their homes, they chose instead to leave Iraq and look for new opportunities in a European country.
The video shows Yazidi people traveling on foot through the mountains on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkish border, as they try to enter Turkey unofficially.

Interviews:

Amin Mirza, Yazidi refugee (man, Arabic):
"I am going to Turkey."

Interviewer: Why did you decide to go to Turkey?
"We are going to Turkey looking for peace, safety and stability."

Interviewer: What happened to you in Sinjar? Can you tell me the story?
"What happened to us in Sinjar didn't happen to anyone else. It was a genocide, we were left with no money or clothes. Two of my nieces were captured by ISIS. My brother, his wife and their two children were also taken by ISIS. Where shall I go? I have to find somewhere safe."

Interviewer: Do you think Turkey is safe and do you think it's possible to settle in Turkey?
"Now it's safer in Turkey, thousands of people from my city are already there and are doing well in Turkey."

Interviewer: Did they all go this way [to Turkey]?
"Yes they all passed through the mountains this way with the help of the PKK."

Interviewer: How long have you been walking for to get to Turkey?
"I don't care if it takes me 2 or 3 days to get there, I will sacrifice myself to get my children to a safer place."

Ginar, Yazidi refugee (woman, Arabic):
"They captured our relatives, but just before they could capture us we ran away. One hour before they took over the town, we knew that the Peshmerga had retreated so we left."

Interviewer: Do you know anyone who was captured by ISIS?
"Yes, my cousin and my brother in law, his wife and children were all taken by ISIS and we know nothing about where they are. We came here to cross to Turkey but we were told that the border is closed and so we are waiting for it to be opened."

Interviewer: How long do you think you can stay here in the mountain?
"We really don't know. Yesterday the children were freezing, we have no food, nothing, we just came as we are. If we have to stay here for two or three more days, I don't think the children will survive.. We adults can stay alive but I doubt the children can."

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frontline in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq
tuzkhurmatu, iraq
By Arianna Pagani
28 Aug 2014

28 August 2014, Tuz Khurmatu distance about 75 km south of Kirkuk. The Kurdish army launches a mortar to the city occupied by the militants of the Islamic State. The soldiers who were outside the base to help the peshmerga who had been sent on ahead, come back at the end of the fight. No deaths and no injuries.

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Palestinians in Iraq Displaced Repeat...
Erbil
By Jawdat Ahmed
28 Aug 2014

Palestinians, who fled their home country in 1948 and settled in Iraq, have been displaced again in their adopted country. The families left Palestine after the creation of the state of Israel and set up residency in Mosul. They were persecuted under the regime of Saddam Hussein and denied rights of ownership given to regular Iraqi citizens. Despite this they stayed in Mosul for years until ISIS fighters took over the city and encouraged them to fight with them under the pretense of giving the Palestinians a state (Islamic State).

After they refused, the Palestinians fled Mosul to the Khazer refugee camp in the Kalak region, 50km east of Erbil, on the Iraqi-Syrian border, along with other refugees from northern Iraq. However ISIS forces kept advancing, taking over more towns in the region, which lead to the Kurdish Peshmerga evacuating the refugees from the area. They moved the Palestinians to the Baharka camp near Erbil, where they are sheltering for now.

Ibrahim, Palestinian father (man, Arabic):

“At first let me tell you that we are Palestinians, and we have been suffering continuously from 1948 until now. We have been persecuted and treated unjustly since then. Even during the rule of Saddam Hussein, Palestinians used to suffer as well. We weren't allowed to have Iraqi nationality, we couldn't own a house, and we couldn't own anything under our names. Even when Hussein was overthrown and the new regime took control we still suffered. To Arabs in general, Palestinians are terrorists. Anywhere we go, we are always treated in a negative way, once we show our IDs that say that we are Palestinian, the way they treat us changes.

The day the fighters came into Mosul, you can call them whatever you want “ISIS” or “IS” or anything, they already had information that we are Palestinian. They came to us asking us to fight with them, under the pretext that we are oppressed, and that they will help us have our own state. Of course we couldn't allow our children to join the fighting, or else they will be considered terrorists and will probably end up dead, but we had no other choice, no one can argue with them. If we had we would be treated as apostates. They told us we have two days to make our children join the fighting. Even if they can't fight, they will train them and give them salaries. We, the decision makers in the community, held a meeting and decided to flee the area the next day to the Khazer camp.

Our situation is not safe, if the next day Mosul is freed [from ISIS], the government will tell us to go back, but when we are in Mosul, our lives are in danger. Since we are Palestinian, the Iraqi government will treat us as terrorists. If we go to Mosul today, ISIS will punish us because we didn't fight on their side. Either way, our situation in Iraq is dangerous, we thank God we're in Kurdistan now, but our future is unknown. We demand the UNHCR to settle us in another country, because our future here is unstable.”

Ali, Palestinian father (man, Arabic):

“We ask the UN and the Human rights associations to look after us, and take us out of the country. We suffered a lot since we came here. Ever since I was born in this country, I didn't know peace or stability; we have no rights at all. We demand the UN to take us out of Iraq.

We came to this refugee camp without a thing, not even a dollar. We decided to look for a job in order to survive. We are living all together, 8 families supporting and helping each other.

The state of Palestine has provided nothing for us since 1948. We always wished the Palestinian president and the government would look out for us. The only thing we got from any Palestinian official was the official form to get into Erbil easily and that was given by the Palestinian ambassador, here in Iraq.”

Shot list:

00:00 - 01:26 Various shots of Khazer refugee camp and Peshmerga forces
01:27 - 02:16 Various shots of Baharka refugee camp and cutaways of the Palestinian families
08:52 - 10:15 (End) Various shots of Baharka refugee camp and refugees

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Yazidi Farmers in Kurdistan Work the ...
Fishkabour
By rsoufi
28 Aug 2014

August 28, 2014
Fishkhabour, Iraqi Kurdistan

Ghanem Hamwi, a Yazidi farmer known locally as "Abu Ammar", cultivates his rented land in the Fishkhabour area, west of Dahuk, despite the threat from the fighting between ISIS and Peshmerga forces, just a few kilometers away.
Ghanem was forced to flee his hometown of Baashika, near Mosul, after ISIS seized control over large areas of the Nineveh province in June, 2014. Since then he moved to the safety of Fishkhabour in Kurdistan and resumed his work as a farmer. However, after the rapid expansion of ISIS and the invasion of Sinjar, and the neighboring towns, the Peshmerga controlled area of Fishkhabour is no longer safe.
Ghanem is trying to help his fellow Yazidis by hiring the refugees who fled Mount Sinjar to farm the land, in spite of the extremely low revenues.

Interviews:

SOUNDBITE 1 - Ghanem Hamwi, farmer (man, Arabic, 8 sec): "We are refugees from Baashika, and we came to Fishkhabour to work on these farms. Most of the people here are refugees from Sinjar."

SOUNDBITE 2 - Ghanem Hamwi, (33 sec) "We are threatened with death, and we witnessed lots of murders. At least ten to fifteen of my people were killed this year. People are scared here, they ask themselves "Is it worth it to come and earn a small amount of money and risk death?" Successful farmers prefer to stop working in agriculture and try to find another, more safe, profession. So this fear has put the agricultural industry in danger.

SOUNDBITE 3 - Ghanem Hamwi, (18 sec) The fear is affecting all of the Iraqi citizens on all levels from Baghdad to Kurdistan, the whole region is gripped by terror.

SOUNDBITE 4 - Ghanem Hamwi, (37 sec) Because of the ISIS terrorists and the violence they are causing and road blocks and checkpoints, I am selling my produce at half price. They are no more factories processing pickles, especially in Mosul and Baashika, where they used to buy my cucumbers. Now I am limited to Dahuk and Zakho, plus the transportation is very expensive, so I am not able to sell my produce.

SOUNDBITE 5 - Adnan Sabri, Worker (man, Kurdish, 1m 42 sec): “We are Yazidi people who fled Mount Sinjar following ISIS's control over the region. I used to own farmland in Sinjar but I had to leave it behind along with all the machinery that I had, which was worth more than 30,000 USD. I now work as a farmer on another person's farmland and I get paid 8 to 10 USD per day. I am lucky and happy with what I'm doing, since thousands of other Yazidis have nothing here, including my friends who keep asking me to find them jobs. Despite moving with my family to a safer region that Sinjar, I still have daily fears, following the crimes that ISIS committed to the Yazidis. I find it really hard to go back to our motherland in Sinjar, since we're a religious minority and the attacks will continue as they have in years past. ISIS attacked all the farmers in Rabia and Sinjar, killing dozens of us, while the others left their farms behind after they threatened us with death. We ask the Western Countries to grant us humanitarian asylum because we don't want to live in Iraq anymore.”

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frontline in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq
tuzkhurmatu, iraq
By Arianna Pagani
28 Aug 2014

28 August 2014, Tuz Khurmatu distance about 75 km south of Kirkuk. The Kurdish army launches a mortar to the city occupied by the militants of the Islamic State. The soldiers who were outside the base to help the peshmerga who had been sent on ahead, come back at the end of the fight. No deaths and no injuries.

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Iraqi Army Prepares Assault on Tikrit
Iraq , Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
27 Aug 2014

August 27, 2014
Tikrit, Iraq

The Iraqi Army, comprised mainly of Shia soldiers, construct defensive walls with bulldozers 50km south of Tikrit, as they prepare for an assault on Tikrit. Their armored vehicles patrol the old American Army base camp ‘Speicher’, and the area between the Quadisiya and Al-Zouhour districts, near the provincial council and Tikrit hospital.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

Between cohabitation and turns the military are able to find moments of fun. Some soldiers playing dominoes in tents.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

Every soldier doing his job harder. Many of them come from cities that have been invaded by the army of Islamic state. They perceive a salary and their work shifts are approximately 10 days.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

The peshmerga now have become very important for Kurdistan. For following decades, have had a bad reputation as warriors unconquered of the mountains.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

The soldiers during the breaks have to keep their weapons clean.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

The kitchen where soldiers take turns for preparing dinner for the people in the frontline.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

The young peshmerga fighters have no battle experience. Many of the older pesh merga moved on, starting businesses and embracing the changing face of Kurdistan.

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

When the light begins to decline many military take the time to call their families at home. A moment of intimacy in a military base full of men is not easy to find.

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Kurdish Females Train To Fight ISIS
Dohuk
By rsoufi
26 Aug 2014

August 25, 2014
Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish females train to use weapons in a training camp established by Peshmerga officers in Dhuk, northern Iraq.
The female trainees have volunteered to join the Peshmerga fighters in their war against ISIS.

Interviews:

  • Vian pendroy, Supervisor of the female volunteers training camp (Kurdish):

“After we sensed the danger of ISIS reaching our area, we considered the importance of having military training courses volunteer women. We started the course with thirty volunteer women, the course lasts for ten days, three hours per day. Volunteers receive training in military discipline, national awareness, field training for weapon using, and the lifestyle of the Peshmerga forces.
The purpose of this course is to improve the role of women in supporting the Peshmerga forces, using a weapon to defend herself and her family in emergencies”.
All women taking this course are volunteers who are either lawyers or engineers.
"بعدما شعرنا بوجود خطر داعش على منطقتنا فكرنا بضرورة فتح دورات للتدريب العسكري وإستخدام السلاح لعدد من النساء المتطوعات بدأنا بفتح هذه الدورة التي شاركت فيها 30 إمرأة وأن الدورة ستستمر لمدة 10 أيام وبمعدل ثلاث ساعات يوميا ويتم تدريب المشاركات خلال الدورة على الإنضباط العسكري والتوعية الوطنية وغيرها من المواضيع أيضا فضلا عن التدريب الميداني على رمي السلاح في جبهات القوات والتعلم على أسلوب حياة قوات البيشمركة هناك وتهدف إقامة هذه الدورة لقيام المرأة بدورها في دعم قوات البيشمركة و حمل السلاح للدفاع عن نفسها وأسرتها في الحالات الطارئة السناء المشاركات في هذه الدورة جميعهن متطوعات بينهن يمارسن مهنة المحامات والهندسة "

  • Jihan Kormaki, Volunteer fighter (Arabic): "We are now able to go with the Peshmerga and to fight against terrorism".

"4-5 years ago, the society was conservative, but now, and especially in the past two years, society is becoming more scientific, more interested in literature. The image of women has changed; even our grandparents now think that women are able to take an active role in society, and to help the man in all fields, also in war or a military frontier".

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Frontline Bashiqa
Bashiqah, Governatorato di Ninawa, Iraq
By Arianna Pagani
26 Aug 2014

A Kurdish peshmerga prepares a cup of tea before starting his turn in the frontline against IS.