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For the Iraqi woman who finds herself with dependent children and without a male figure at her side, security becomes a constant worry in addition to the emotional and psychological destruction visited on them by the Islamic State. Keeping in touch with friends and relatives helps distract them and maintain a sense of community.
The living conditions of minorities persecuted by the advance of Islamic State militants can be read on the faces of refugees no matter their age. Despite this extreme hardship, the hope that their children will be able to build a better future keeps them going.
Forced migration is in some cases synonymous with survival. These women were found after escaping from an armed group. Young and old, none of them are safe, they say.
In this makeshift refuge, the little ones spend most of their hours stretched out on the floor in the corridors or in empty classrooms of the school.
Aid from local associations has not been enough to support the Shabak community living in Rovia's mosque. A woman needs to move for the night between the cars parked outside.
Recognized as an ethnic minority in 1952, the Shabak are now on the run from the militias of the Islamic State. They have already experienced persecution in the past, notably by the regime of Saddam Hussein. 70 families of them take refuge in this mosque from their latest threat.
A Shabak man is sick, lying on a rug while a woman tends to him, as the public hospital can only be reached in the morning. During the day, temperatures reach around 45 degrees.
An elderly woman prepares to cook dinner, shielding the fire with wooden panels. Inside the mosque there is no pavement, making hygiene a challenge.
In the tiny village of Rovia a few miles from Mosul, a city currently under control of the Islamic State, the Shabak community has found refuge in a mosque under construction. Inside the community, the proportion of children to adults is very high. The adults hope to spare their children from the psychological trauma of war.
Shabak women are preparing for the evening meal in a mosque along the road that leads to Mosul. With only moonlight available, people who sleep outside must cook, eat, and wash quickly.