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Yezidis Demand Return of Loved Ones H...
By rsoufi
15 Apr 2015

Kurdish Yezidi refugees in the Sharya camp near Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan took part in protest against the continued detention of their community members by ISIS. The protest was part of a campaign launched by the Yezidi Lalesh Cultural Center and other organizations. These protests coincided with the Yezidi New Year, also known as "Holy Wednesday", which is celebrated on the first Wednesday of April. Thousands of colored balloons carrying written heart-felt messages were released during the sit-in. The refugees wrote “My wish is to celebrate the holiday with my mother,” and “Our holiday is your return” among other slogans.

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Mass grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
08 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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ISIS Beheaded Her Father
By rsoufi
16 Feb 2015

The family of a kidnapped Kurdish soldier found out about of his death through a video of his beheading, released by ISIS on January 26. Houkan Surji was captured by the jihadist group after he was wounded in battle on August 6, 2014. Over the six months of his imprisonment his family had absolutely no contact with him and only found out about his death via an online video.

The Transterra Media contributor visited the family home in the village of Berdsur, east of Dohuk and found that they were in the process of moving house. Donors from their community came together and bought the family a new home elsewhere in Dohuk, as their old house held too many painful memories.

This public video released by ISIS is an edited version of the beheading:


The family of a kidnapped Kurdish soldier found out about of his death through a video of his beheading, released by ISIS on January 26. Houkan Surji was captured by the jihadist group after he was wounded in battle on August 6, 2014. Over the six months of his imprisonment his family had absolutely no contact with him and only found out about his death via an online video.
The Transterra Media contributor visited the family home in the village of Berdsur, east of Dohuk and found that they were in the process of moving house. Donors from their community came together and bought the family a new home elsewhere in Dohuk, as their old house held too many painful memories.

SOUNDBITE (Woman, Kurdish) Avin Hojam, daughter of Kurdish fighter decapitated by ISIS
00:07 - 05:06
How did you father treat his family?
He treated us very well.
He treated us well and was jovial. He treated all his relatives and friends with innocence and a spirit full of love and appreciation.
When he headed to fulfill his military duties, did you not stop him from going to the battlefield?
No, we did not, because he was defending the honor, dignity and land of Kurdistan. My father was willing to defend the land of Kurdistan for the sake of honor and dignity.
There are other people who were killed by ISIS. What do you think of this, given that ISIS claim to be Muslims?
They are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, they would not have treated Muslims like this. Did your father communicate with you while he was on the frontline fighting against ISIS? Yes, he spoke with us all the time.
How did you find out that he was detained by ISIS?
We knew that he was with a group of people, some of whom were killed while the others were injured. My father was among the injured. He was shot in the leg and taken prisoner by ISIS. They took him on August 6, 2014 and on January 26, 2015, he was martyred by ISIS.
When your father was on the front, what did he talk to you about?
He spoke about honor, dignity, and his willingness to die to defend the land of Kurdistan.
When he was at home, did he use to talk about the frontline as well?
Yes, he spoke with us a lot about that.
What do you think about ISIS practices, especially with Yezidi women?
These acts are unfair, whether they are committed against Muslims or others.
What do think should be done to correct this situation?
I call on all people to defend Kurdistan and protect their honor and dignity. I even call on civilians to head to the frontlines.
How many members are there in your family?
We are six boys and five girls.
Who supports your family at the moment?
All of our relatives, as well as benefactors, offer us help.
Do you need anything?
Our situation is good at the moment. The government and benefactors have offered us a lot of aid.
Do you feel that your family lacks anything after your father died?
Can you talk about the void that your father’s [death] has left in your life?
It had a great impact on us. We had not seen him for six months, during which he was detained. We were always avidly waiting to know what he had in his heart. We wanted him to tell what he was thinking. We are very touched and realize quite well the void he has left in our life.
Have you received his body?
No. We were longing to see him and we had not received any call from him for six months.
While he was detained, were you not able to communicate with him?
No. I swear to God, we did not receive any news of him from August 6 to January 26, 2015.
What would you like to say to the Islamic State group?
They are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, they would not have acted as such.
What would you like to say to the international community?
I pray that my father’s blood does not go in vain, and that work is done to give us his body. I pray that these countries are not allowed to exist in any country.

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Issa, the cousin of the Kurdish fighter Hojam, decapitated by ISIS
00:03 - 03:20
How did you find out about Hojam’s killing?
I knew through Facebook.
Did you see the video of his execution?
What did you see and how did you feel?
I was moved a lot.
I was very moved because he was killed in an unusual way.
What did you feel that moment?
I swear to God that I wished to have revenge against them and exterminate them.
How can you describe this [act]?
This is an inhumane act.
It is an inhumane act and even infidels do not do what these monsters have done.
What do you think should be done?
We call on foreign countries, such as the international coalition, the United States, Britain, Germany and France to strike and exterminate them.
Does this mean that this is not a personal issue?
No, it is not a personal issue. Even though the person who killed Hojam was Kurdish, he belonged to ISIS.
Do you mean that this danger affect everybody.
Yes, this is a danger that affects everybody – Arab countries, foreign countries and everybody else.
Do you think that Hojam’s killing has caused a void in your family?
No, no. God willing, there will not be any void.
Are you part of the Peshmerga?
We are all part of the Peshemerga. Those who were not part of the Peshmerga are now part of it.
In which area do you perform your duties with the Peshmerga?
In Zumar, which is near Tal Afar.
Was Hojam in Zumar?
No, he was in Oweiza.
Where was he taken prisoner?
In the Shallallat area.
After that, what did you hear about him?
No… We know that he was alive, but we did not know any information about him until he was killed.
Did you not try to have him released with the mediation of certain people or Arab tribes?
We tried a lot, with all our means, but it was in vain. They are not part of a government or a state and nobody can deal with them.
How do you think this organization should be dealt with? What do you think about its future?
By God, in the future they shall fail. They have no future. God willing, they will be destroyed.
What about the future of these children?
They are not guilty of anything; they have been betrayed.
What would you like to say to the world?
We say that the countries of the coalition, the Gulf and all the other countries should stand against these people.

لقاء مع أفين هوجام أبنة المقاتل هوجام الذي ذبحته داعش :

السؤال (00:07) كيف كان تعامل والدك مع العائلة؟ (00:09) الجواب (00:10) والدي كان جيدا جدا في تعامله معنا (00:11) السؤال (00:12) كيف (00:13)؟ الجواب(00:15) كان جيدا في تعامله معنا وكان مرحاً معنا وكان يتعامل مع الجميع من أهله وأصدقائه ببراءة وروح مليئة بالحب والتقدير (00:33) السؤال (00:34) عندما توجه إلى واجبه العسكري في المعركة ألم تمنعوه عن الذهاب إلى جبهة القتال؟ (00:40) الجواب (00:41) لا .. لا لم نقله له ذلك لأنه كان يدافع عن شرف وكرامة كردستان ويحمي أرضها.. كان والدي مستعدا للدفاع عن كردستان من أجل الشرف والكرامة (00:56) السؤال (01:00) هناك ناس آخرون أيضا قتلتهم داعش كيف ترون هذا الشيء بينما يدعي أعضاء التنظيم أنهم مسلمون؟ (01:10) الجواب (00:11) هؤلاء ليسوا مسلمين، وإن كانوا مسلمين فيجب ألا يعاملون المسلمين بهذا الشكل. (00:15) السؤال (01:17) عندما كان والدك في جبهة القتال ضد داعش هل كان يتواصل معكم؟ (01:23) الجواب (01:24) نعم كان يتواصل معنا بإستمرار(00:27) السؤال(01:28) كيف عرفتم بأسره من قبل داعش؟ (01:319) الجواب (00:31) نعم علمنا أنه كان مع عدد من الأشخاص بعضهم قتلوا والبعض الآخر أصيب بجروح وكان والدي من بين الجرحى وأصيب رصاص برجله عندما أعتقله مسلحو داعش وأخذوه في يوم (6 من شهر آب 2014). تم أسره. وفي يوم (26 كانون الثاني 2015) استشهد على أيدي داعش (01:53) السؤال (01:55) عندما كان والدكم في الجبهة وكنتم تتواصلون معه عن ماذا كان يتحدث معكم؟ (02:00) الجواب (02:01) يتحدث عن الشرف والكرامة والإستعداد بالتضحية من اجل حماية أرض كردستان لحد الموت (02:10) السؤال (02:11) وعندما كان في البيت هل كان يتحدث عن جبهات القتال أيضاً (02:24) الجواب (02:25) نعم كان يتحدث معنا كثيرا عن ذلك (02:27) السؤال (02:29) كيف ترين ممارسات داعش إتجاه هذه الأعمال خصوصا تجاه النساء الإيزيديات أو غيرهن (02:42) الجوال(02:43) هذه الأعمال غير عادلة، لا مع المسلمين ولا مع غيرهم (02:45) السؤال (02:46) كيف ترين السبيل إلى معالجة هذه الأوضاع؟(00:49) الجواب (02:49) أدعو جميع الناس إلى الدفاع عن كردستان وحماية شرفهم وكرامتهم، وادعو حتى المدنيين للتوجه إلى جبهات القتال (03:00) السؤال (03:01) كم يبلغ عدد أعضاء أسرتكم؟ (03:05) الجواب (03:06) نحن 6 أولاد و5 أخوات (03:08) السؤال (03:09) من يعيل أسرتكم حالياً؟ (03:10) الجواب (03:11) الجميع من أقاربنا والناس الخيريين يقدمون لنا المساعدة (03:16) السؤال (03:18) هل تحتاجون حاليا إلى أي شيء؟(03:22) الجواب (03:24) وضعنا جيد حاليا الحكومة والأشخاص الخيريين قدموا لنا المساعدة كثيرا (03:27) السؤال (03:28) بعد مقتل والدك هل تشعرون أن شيء ما نقص من عائلتك(03:42) الجواب (03:43) نعم (03:44) السؤال (03:44) هل بإمكانك التحدث عن الفراغ الذي تركه والدك في حياتكم (03:55) الجواب (03:56) كانه له تأثير كبير علينا .. لم نره بقي ستة أشهر معتقلا في السجن وكنا دائما تواقين لمعرفة ماكان في قلبه ليقول لنا قبل رحيله. نحن متأثرون جدا وندرك جيدا الفراغ الذي تركه في حياتنا (04:14) السؤال (04:15) هل استلمتم جثته؟(04:15) الجواب(04:16) لا .. نحن كنا مشتاقون لرؤيته ولم نتلق أي اغتصال منه منذ ستة أشهر (04:22) السؤال (04:24) عندما كان أسيرا ألم تستطيعوا الاتصال به؟ (04:27) الجواب (04:28) لا لا والله منذ يوم 6 آب وإلى 26 كانون الثاني 2015 لم نتلق أي خبر عنه(04:34) السؤال (04:37) ماذا تريدين أن تقولي لتنظيم الدولة الإسلامية؟ (04:44) الجواب (04:45) أنهم ليسوا مسلمين وإذا كانوا مسلمون كيف يتعاملون بهذا الشكل (04:49) السؤال (04:50) ماذا تريدين أن تقولي للمجتمع الدولي؟(04:54) الجواب (04:54) أدعو أن لا يدع دم والدي يذهب هدرا والعمل على تسليمنا جثته وأن لايسمح بوجود هؤلاء الوحوش في أية دولة(05:06)

2 مقابلة مع (عيسى ) أبن عم المقاتل هوجام الذي ذبح من قبل داعش

السؤال (00:03) كيف عرفت بمقتل هوجام (00:06) الجواب (00:07) عرفت بواسطة الفيسبوك (00:11) السؤال (00:13) هل رأيت المشهد عن كيفية قتله(00:13) الجواب (00:14) نعم (00:14) السؤال (00:15) ماذا رأيت و بماذا شعرت؟(00:16) الجواب (00:17) والله تأثرت كثيرا(00:18) السؤال (00:18) كيف (00:18) الجواب (00:19) والله تأثرت كثيرا لأنه قتل بشكل غريب (00:24) السؤال (00:25) يعني ماذا كان شعورك في تلك اللحظة؟(00:28) الجواب (00:29) والله كنت أتنمى الإنتقام منهم وإبادتهم (00:34) السؤال (00:35) كيف يمكنه وصفه؟(00:36) الجواب (00:38) هذا عمل غير إنساني (00:39) السؤال (00:40) كيف؟ (00:41) الجواب (00:41) عمل لا إنساني وحتى الكفار لايمارسون العمل هؤلاء وحوش (00:47) السؤال (00:48) برأيك مالذي يجب فعله؟ (00:49) الجواب (00:50) نحن نطالب الدول الأجنبية مثل دول التحالف و أمريكا وبريطانيا وألمانيا وفرنسا بضربهم وإبادتهم (00:59) السؤال (01:00) هذه ليست قضية شخصية؟(01:01) الجواب (01:01) لا ليست قضية شخصية، صحيح أن الذي قتل هوجام كان كرديا لكنه ينتمي لداعش (01:07) السؤال (01:08) تقصد أن هذا الخطر يطال الجميع؟ (01:09) الجواب(01:10) نعم هذا خطر على جميع الناس وحتى الدول الأجنبية والعربية وعلى الجميع(01:17) السؤال (01:22) هل ترى أن مقتل هوجام أحدث فراغا في عائلتكم؟ (01:25) الجواب (01:26) لا لا إنشاء الله لن يحدث أي فراغ (01:31) السؤال (01:32) هل أنتم أعضاء في البيشمركة؟ (01:32) الجواب(01:33) نعم نحن جميعا بيشمركة والذي لم يكن ينتمي للبيشمركة أصبح ضمن البيشمركة(01:39) السؤال (01:45) في أي منطقة تؤدي واجبك في قوات البيشمركة؟ (01:46) الجواب (01:46) في منطقة زمار القريبة من تلعفر(01:49) السؤال (01:50) وهل كان هوجام في منطقة زمار؟(01:50) الجواب (01:51) لا كان في منطقة بعويزة (01:52) السؤال (01:52) وأين أعتقل؟ (01:54) الجواب (01:54) في منطقة الشلالات (01:57) السؤال(01:58) وبعدها ماذا كانت أخباره؟ (01:59) الجواب (02:00) لا .. كنا نعرف أنه حي لكننا لم نعرف أية معلومات عنه لحين قتله (02:10) السؤال (02:11) ألم تحاولوا إطلاق سراحه عبر تدخل أو بواسطة بعض الأشخاص أو روؤساء العشائرالعربية؟ (02:18) الجواب(02:19) والله حاولنا كثيرا وبكل إمكانياتنا لكن دون جدوى هؤلاء ليسوا حكومة ولادولة ولا أحد يستطيع التعامل معهم (02:35) السؤال (02:36) برأيك كيف يكون التعامل مع هذا التنظيم وماهو مستقبله؟ (02:45) الجواب (02:46) والله هؤلاء مستقبلهم فاشل ولا مستقبل لهم إنشاء الله وسيدمرون (02:53) السؤال (02:54) وهؤلاء الأطفال كيف سيكون (مستقبلهم)؟ (02:55) الجواب (02:56) لا ذنب لهم وهم تعرضوا للغدر(03:01) السؤال (03:03) أنتم ماذا تريدون أن قوله للعالم (03:11) الجواب (03:12) نقول لهم قوموا بوجه هؤلاء يا دول التحالف ودول الخليج العربي وكلهم (03:20)

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Investigating ISIS Genocide: A Mass G...
By rsoufi
08 Feb 2015

February 8, 2015
Nineveh, Iraq

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis slaughtered by ISIS. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

Residents in the Peshmerga controlled territory of Zumar, in northeastern Nineveh, reported their suspicions to the local authorities, about a mass grave in Berdia village. So far at least seven bodies have been exhumed with their hands tied behind their backs.

According to eyewitnesses the bodies were those of Yazidi workers who were executed, along with their families, at a time when ISIS was in control of the area.

Shot list and transcription:

SOUNDBITE 1: Bevan Hamdi, Head of forensics team, (Arabic, Man):
01:11 – 03:53
“At the Ministry of Martyrs in Kurdistan, we have a team for mass graves. We received information from local inhabitants, saying that there is a mass grave in the area of Summar, in the village of Birdya, which is near the [Mosul] dam. Our team moved this morning and arrived to the scene along with the forensic medicine team from Dohuk, a judge in the committee of evidence collection who handles the Yezidi case, and officers from the judicial police. We surveyed the area and saw that there is indeed a mass grave. We started to work and, so far, we have dug up the remains of seven bodies. Most of them were civilians whose hands were tied behind their backs. They were shot and killed. They are located in the same grave. According to informants, there are remains of about 16 to 23 bodies. We are working until the end.
Unfortunately, all the victims were innocent civilians. It seems that that they were local irrigation workers. They were poor people who came here to work."

Interviewer: When does time does this burial site date from? Was it the time when ISIS was in control? Or was it before or after?

"All these events took place after ISIS arrived to this area. Before ISIS, this area saw a lot of activity. When ISIS came, it committed these killings and crimes of genocide. As a result of these crimes there was a mass graves in the area, not in the area of Zumar. During our work in the past two days in the area of Sununy and Khansour, we found an open mass grave, in which all the victims are women. The bodies were above the ground. Some of them had their throats slit and others were killed by gunshots.” -Wide of workers digging up a body.

04:03 – 04:37
“Our main aim is to bring genocide crimes committed by ISIS gangs before international authorities. A mass grave is one of the strongest pieces of evidence of the acts perpetrated by ISIS, as well as crimes against human rights. These crimes were committed because the victims were ethnically Kurds and had a different religion, the Yazidi faith.” -Various of workers of digging skeletons and decaying bodies.

SOUNDBITE 2: Ayman Mustafa, judge from Dohuk, (Arabic, Man):
05:04 – 6:06
“Killing civilians after stripping them of all of their belongings and tying their hands up, as well as burying them in mass graves, is considered an act of genocide." Interviewer: Can the families of these victims file complaints?
"Of course. The victims have nearly been identified. They were laborers who used to work nearby. They were killed here after ISIS arrested them. Investigations are still going on to know their exact identity and where they lived.” -Various of excavated skeletons. -Various of covered bodies. -Medium of Mahmoud Khalaf Mohamed [third interviwee]

SOUNDBITE 3: Mahmoud Khalaf Mohamed, Eyewitness, (Arabic, Man):
07:03- 09:19
“I am close to the site of the incident, [I work] at an electric power station. From there, you can hear sounds. We could hear the sound of shooting, as well as children and women waling. I did not know what was happening then. I asked the day after, and I was told that people were killed here." "We informed the Peshmerga and they came and found the victims." Interviewer: What did you exactly hear back then?
"I head waling and shooting – the waling of women and children and shooting." Interviewer: This waling, how long did it last?
"I was inside the power station. I came out and I heard this sound for moments. There might have been crying before I heard it, but I heard crying and shooting towards the end, for about five minutes." Interviewer: Did you hear crying for five minutes?
"Yes." Interviewer: And how long did the shooting last?
"Well… it varied, it was not exact. There was a round of shooting followed by four or five individual shots." Interviewer: Have you heard anything similar before?
"It was the first time that I witnessed something like this. It was horrible." Interviewer: When you heard this waling, did you think there was an operation?
"It was a crime, of course. When you hear waling, it means that someone is experiencing tragedy, fear or panic." Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
"I have worked for 12 years." Interviewer: Were you here while ISIS militants were in control of this area?
"Yes." Interviewer: How did they treat people?
"They did not deal with people. I work for two-day shifts then take six days off. During these two days of work, I did not meet them. They used to pass in the street. I did not meet them.” -Various of workers digging -Close of marked grave

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Yazidis Refugees Trade Old Cars to Su...
By rsoufi
26 Jan 2015

January 26, 2015
Dohuk, Iraq

Yazidi refugees come up with a car selling scheme to provide for their families. Firstly they trade their own cars for two or three cheaper ones. They then exhibit these second-hand cars in an square outside the Yazidi refugee camp and try and sell them for small profits of around $100 per sale.


1- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, man)
01:13 – 02:45
"People bring their cars here because they need the money. These are our people from Sinjar. They all need money. Some of them owe us one million dinars ($886) others owe us 700,000 dinars. They sell their cars in order to cover the expenses of their homes and children."

Interviewer: Is this a car exhibition?
"It is an exhibition… it a simple exhibition. It is not very large. We have opened it recently. All the people here are from Sinjar and Khaneq. They are all Yazidis."

Interviewer: What do you do here?
"We sell, buy and exchange cars to cover the expenses of homes and children. We sold two cars. I sold this one and bought a Nissan. We got this from Zakho."

Interviewer: Did you make any profit?
"Well… 100 dollars. Thanks be to God."

Interviewer: And what about the people here?
"They are exchanging and exchanging cars and talking with each other. Most of these people have bought cars."

Interviewer: where do the buyers come from?
"From Waji, Dohuk and Zakho. All of these buyers are Yezidis. They are all from Sinjar and Khaneq. Some cars cost 2000 dollars; others cost 1,500, 3,000 or 3,500 dollars. Prices can reach 10,000 dollars."

Interviewer: How many cars are sold every day here?
"About two or three cars... This is a simple exhibition. It is not large."

Interviewer: who started this exhibition?
"We started it as it is now [UNINTELLIGIBLE] there are only people from Sinjar and Khaneq."

  1. SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man)
    04:04 – 04:24
    Interviewer: Do people usually who come here?
    "Yes, people come from Dohuk, Summar… they come from different areas. The market here is slightly cheaper than Dohuk."

Interviewer: Why is it cheaper?
"Owners need the money. They need money so they sell their cars. If they do not sell their cars they will not have money."

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196 Yazidi Prisoners Released by Isla...
By rsoufi
19 Jan 2015

January 19, 2015
Sheikhan, Iraq

ISIS has released 196 Yazidi prisoners who have been held captive since August 2014. It is believed that a ransom was paid for the prisoners who were transferred from Mosul to Kirkuk and given medical tests to make sure they were healthy. The released prisoners were then taken to Lalesh temple in Sheikhan where they were and many of them are suffering from skin disease and malnutrition and cannot believe that they managed to escape ISIS. They said that the conditions in ISIS’s prisons are appalling and that hundreds of Yazidi women were taken to Raqqa in Syria. They also stated that ISIS is still holding thousands of elderly, women, and children. The video shows interviews with released prisoners who talk about the ways they were mistreated.


Hussein Koro Ibrahim, Director of Kidnapping Affairs, (man, Arabic)

(01:20-05:07) Interviewer: We want you to explain to us your preparations you are doing for welcoming the captives.
Hussein: "We are preparing to welcome the survivors who escaped ISIS and under direct supervision from Khayri Bozani, the general director for the Yazidi affairs. We received a few of the people who escaped ISIS, they reached Kirkuk and the government of Kurdistan has taken the necessary procedures. We received 196 survivor, mostly elderly and they suffer from diseases."

Interviewer: What about the Issue of the female Yazidi captives? How many are they according to the records?
Hussein: "What we registered so far, apart for the ones who were released, the number is up to 587 captives."

Interviewer: Were the captives who arrived here released?
Hussein: "No, they were brought here with the help of the good people."

Interviewer: What are your attempts to save them?
Hussein: "We try, counting on the good people to bring as many captives as possible."

Interviewer: Did you pay money to release the captives?
Hussein: "Yes there are good people who pay obey and help us to get them here."

Interviewer: What is their mental state? How are they doing psychologically?
Hussein: "It is bad."

Interviewer: What can you offer them in this case?
Hussein: "We can register them and provide them with aid and support."

Interviewer: Do you ask them questions?
Hussein: "Yes of course, we ask them about everything and we take their names."

Interviewer: This effort requires governmental and international support, do you communicate with special organizations or foreign countries?
Hussein: "Through this interview, we want to ask all the humanitarian organizations, civil community organizations, and the UN to help those captives and bring them here."

Interviewer: What is the most common thing those captives are suffering from?
Hussein: "It is tragic and they suffer from many things, many diseases, some are contagious."

Interviewer: Have their been any deaths?
Hussein: "Yes many died and there were suicide cases. We heard there were many cases."

Interviewer: What is your name?
Hussein: "Hussein Koro Ibrahim."

Interviewer: And what is your profession?
Hussein: The director of the kidnapping affairs in Dohuk

Khatoun, Yazidi prisoner (woman, Kurdish)


Interviewer: Where did you come from?
Khatoun: "From Mosul."

Interviewer: How long have you been held captives?
Khatoun: "They only released us three days ago."

Interviewer: Why were you released?
Khatoun: "I do not know why they released us, maybe God set fear to their hearts."

Interviewer: Are there any women captives still held by ISIS?
Khatoun: "Yes there are many people who remained imprisoned by ISIS. There are over 7,000 captives."

Interviewer: Where were you held? In Tel Afar in Mosul?
Khatoun:"Some were in Tel Afar, some in Mosul, and others were taken to Syria."

Interviewer: How is their situation?
Khatoun: "Their situation is bad."

Joanne, family member of kidnapped Yazidi, (woman, Kurdish)

(00:01-00:14) Joanne: "All we want is to release our captives. I want to see my three brothers, they are school students, my two sisters, and my old father. They are still imprisoned by ISIS so I ask the president to help release them."

Tahlou Moussa, 52, Kidnapped Yazidi (man Arabic)

Interviewer: Where were you?
Tahlou: "We were in Mosul."

Interviewer: Were you prisoners?
Tahlou: "We were captives."

Interviewer: Where are the rest of the captives?
Tahlou: "They are with ISIS."

Interviewer: What is the situation of the captives?
Tahlou: "It is not good and not bad."

Interviewer: How was your situation?
Tahlou: "Thank God."

Interviewer: What is your name?
Tahlou: "Tahlo Moussa"

Interviewer: Where are you from?
Tahlou: "I am from Sinjar."

Khanaf, 50, Yazidi Prisoner (woman, Kurdish):

Interviewer: Who was with you and remained imprisoned by ISIS?
Khanaf: "Any remained, women from the tribes of al-Kiraniah, Tel Aziz, and al-Wardeya. And there are people from the north of Sinjar, they were all with us.

Interviewer: Were some of the captives taken outside of Iraq?
Khanaf: "Some were taken to Syria, and others are in Tal Afar and Mosul and the nearby villages."

Interviewer: What would you like to say?
Khanaf: "Thank God we were saved, and we pray for the others to be rescued."

Interviewer: Are any of your relatives still under the control of ISIS?
Khanaf: "My daughter is a captive, and Khalaf Rasho with two of his children."

interviewer: Who is Khalaf Rasho?
Khanaf: "Khalaf Rasho is my husband, and two of my children are still held captives."

Interviewer: were you the only one among your family who was released?
Khanaf: "Yes."

Rasho Khodeida Khalaf, 65, Kidnapped Yazidi (man, Kurdish)

Interviewer: Where did you come from?
Rasho "We came from Mosul, and then they took us to Kirkuk and then brought us to the sand barrier, and released us, s we came to Kirkuk where they welcomed us."

Interviewer: Where were you held as captives?
Rasho: "They arrested me in Sinjar."

Interviewer: After that?
Rasho: "Then they transferred us to Tal Afar castle."

Interviewer: What about the people who remained under their control?
Rasho: "The people who are still in good health were not released, they only released the elderly and the sick."

Interviewer: Did ISIS take the captives to otter places, like Syria?
Rasho: "Before they took us to Mosul, ISIS took five buses full of women to Syria."

Interviewer: Where did they take them in Syria?
Rasho: "They took them to Raqqa in Syria, they were all Yazidi women."

Arabic Transcription:
حسين كورو ابراهيم - مدير مكتب شؤون المختطفين في دهوك السؤال من أين جئتم الجواب: من الموصل السؤال: منذ متى أنتم محجوز الجواب: قبل ثلاثة أيام أفرجوا عنا السؤال: كيف تم الإفراج عنكم؟ الجواب: لاأعرف كيف هم أفرجوا عنا لاعرف الله بث الخوف في قلوبهم السؤال: هل هناك مختطفات باقيات لدى داعش ؟ الجواب: نعم هناك الكثير من المخطتفين باقيم في يدهم تقدر بأكثر من سبعة آلاف مختطف ومختطفة السؤال: أين كنتم محتجزون؟ في تلعفر في الموصل ؟ الجواب: بعضهم في تلعفر وبعضهم في الموصل والبعض الآخر نقلوهم إلى سوريا في كل مكان السؤال: كيف هي أوضاعهم ؟ الجواب: والله أوضاعهم غير جيدة وضعهم سيء

جوان - امرأة إزيدية لها أقارب محتجزين لدى داعش فقط نريد الإفراج عن أسرانا وأريد رؤية ثلاثة من أشقائي وهم مازالو طلاب في المدرسة وإثنين من شقيقاتي و والدي العجوز مازالوا جميعهم أسرى بيد داعش أرجو من الرئيس تقديم المساعدة لتحريرهم

خناف - امرأة ايزيدية مختطفة - 50 سنة : السؤال: من كان معكم من بقى لدى داعش؟ الجواب: الكثير مازال باقون نساء من عشائر القيرانية و منطقة تل عزير والوردية لم يبقى قرية وهناك أيضا ناس من قرى شمال سنجار من الأيزيدين كانوا جميعهم معنا السؤال: وهل أخذ بعض الأسرى إلى أماكن أخرى خارج العراق؟ الجواب: بعضهن أخذوهم إلى سوريا والبعض الآخر في تلعفر والموصل والقرى القريبة منها متفرقون في تلك المناطق السؤال: ماذا تريدين تقولين الجواب: والله الحمد لله وبيوتكم تبقى عامرة إنشاء الله ونأمل من الله أن ينقذنا من أيدي هؤلاء خناف - امرأة ايزيدية مختطفة السؤال: من هم الذين من أقاربك الباقين في قبضة داعش ؟ الجواب: إبنتي في قبضتهم وخلف رشو مع إثنين من أبنائه مازالو في قبضتهم السؤال: من هو خلف رشو؟ الجواب: خلف رشو قاسم هو زوجي نعم وإثنان من أبنائي مازالو محتجزون السؤال: هل تم إطلاق سراحك فقط من بين أسرتك ؟ الجواب: نعم والله

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Peshmerga Liberate More Areas of Moun...
By rsoufi
24 Dec 2014

December 24, 2014
Sinjar, Iraq

Yazidis from the area of Sounoun return to their homes after being trapped on Mount Sinjar since the beginning of August 2014. The Peshmerga has liberated much of the area, home to around 140,000 Yazidis, and are patrolling the area to protect the civilians.


Khodida Elias - Yazidi man
A Peshmerga fighter
Ahmad Fares - Yazidi man
Salem Kheder - Yazidi man

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Syrian Refugee Nurse Gives Help to Ya...
Mount Sinjar
By rsoufi
23 Dec 2014

December 21 2014
Sinjar Mountain

Khansaa Shamdeen Ali is a is a young Syrian Kurdish surgical nurse who became a refugee in Iraqi Kurdistan. Hearing of the desperate plight of Iraqi Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar under siege by Islamic State forces she volunteered to provide medical help to the Yazidis. Khansaa was transported to the mountain by military helicopter where she remained for three months tending to the medical needs of the hundreds of people unable to leave the area and Peshmerga fighters who were defending the mountain..
During this time she built a strong bond with the Yazidis and the Peshmergas. Khansaa says she does not want anything in return for work and she is just happy to have been able to help.

Khnassa assures that she does not want anything in return of her favors and she is just happy to serve the refugees.


Interviewer: All the medications are available with you?

Khansaa: yes of course, Dr. Nizar is doing the best he can to provide all the medications.

My name is Khansaa Shamdeen Ali, from Syrian Kurdistan, Derek area in Al-Hasakeh province. I have been here for three months, I treat the Yazidis and the Peshmerga fighters. Sometimes i get 400 patients per day, I have a very good relationship with them, and with the Yazidis.

I am also a refugee, my family is residing in Dar Shokran. When i heard about the situation, i immediately came to the health directory of Dohuk and spoke with Dr. Nizar, and I asked him to allow me to help the Yazidi refugees, so he said that they support me and they are willing to help me with whatever I need, I told them that I want nothing but to help people. Dr. Nizar helped me with everything, I stayed in Khaneqi for a month and after that i came here to the mountain, i have been in the mountain for three months now. I volunteered here to serve my country and help the Kurds. We receive all types of medications, even the medication required for surgical procedures.

Yesterday we received 12-13 people who were injured on the front and we treated them.

Interviewer: Do you do surgeries here?

Khansaa: yes we do, then we transfer them to Dohuk.

Yes Of course i have a degree, without my degree i cannot serve them. I have a degree from the health institution, Surgery section.

Once there was a strong conflict between ISIS and the Peshmerga fighters, and ISIS came close to the mountain, and there were many injuries, some of them were abdominal and shoulder injuries, i treated them and they stayed here with me for four days then were transferred to Dohuk and now they are fine.

This is the weapon of Fadel al-Mirani, He gave it to me as a present because I served the Yazidis. They said that they are very proud of me to be here in this situation, in the cold and the starvation and in a place where there i no bathrooms or toilets. I count myself as one of the Peshmerga, so he gave me this present because i served the Yazidis.

Some of the births that happened here, they gave two of the girls my name, and i personally named two boys, and i gave three girls my sister's name and two girls, I gave them my niece's name.

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Christmas for Refugees in Iraq
By rsoufi
22 Dec 2014

December 22, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Iraqi Christian refugees put up a huge Christmas tree outside of the Chaldean Cultural Centre in Dohuk. The tree is the biggest in the region and is made of astro-turf wrapped around a metal frame, materials supplied by Afram, an engineer and owner of the centre, which is now housing 87 Christian refugee families.

Inside the centre, Salma is putting up Christmas decorations. She and her husband fled Tel Isqof, in northern Iraq, to escape ISIS and now live with other refugees in Dohuk. Their sons both fled the country.

Farouk and George, a former employee at Basra airport and a former employee at the oil plant in Kirkuk, respectively, wish to leave Iraq for a more stable life.


Farouk, Christian refugee, (Man, Arabic):

(00:36-00:58) Farouk: "This is a Christmas tree for the Chaldean Cultural Centre. All the people here participated in the making of it."

Interviewer: How did you make it?

Farouk: "We cover it with a carpet and then we decorate it with Christmas lights and Christmas decorations."

(01:03-01:47) Farouk: "This is the work of Mr. Afram. He allowed us to reside here, we were 87 families."

Interviewer: Is this the only tree that you are making?

Farouk: "No, we have another tree inside and a grotto."

Interviewer: What do you hope for this Christmas?

Farouk: "We hope for peace, and to leave this country, because nobody is giving us our rights."

Interviewer: Why are you making this tree?

Farouk: "It is a holiday, we have to make it."

George, Christian refugee, (Man, Arabic):

(01:59-02:15) George: "Even if our situation is hard, it will become easier, nothing stays the same. Life is a chance, to see the good and to see the bad. and hopefully God will fix things, and make it better for us. We are refugees, and we hope our situation will improve."

(02:21-02:31) George: "We build the christmas tree every year. No matter what happens, we build it every year."

Interviewer: The fact that you are refugees did not affect you negatively?

George: "No, nothing can affect us."

(02:38-02:52) George: "We hope to return to Kirkuk, to work and continue to live our lives. We do not care about ISIS or anyone."

Salma, Christian refugee (Woman, Arabic):

(04:02-04:16) Salma: "I am decorating the tree. The Christmas tree."

Interviewer: Why are you decorating it?

Salma: "Because it is a religious holiday that we celebrate every year and decorate the tree."

(04:24-05:22) Salma: "I remember when we used to be in our village, and celebrate this holiday with the family, friends, and relatives."

Interviewer: What did you used to do at Christmas time back when you were in your village?

Salma: "We used to celebrate, prepare food and sweets for the holiday when all the family gathers."

Interviewer: What is your current situation here?

Salma: "We are living in a tragedy. It is not nice to live here for any of the people in this building. But thanks to Mr. Afram, who allowed us to stay here, we are so much better than others."

(05:27-05:42) Salma: "If they cannot find a solution they should allow mass immigration. I am here alone with my husband. All of my children are out of the country, Why should my husband and I stay here?"

(05:47-06:37) Salma: Are we Christian or citizens of this country? We ask God to fix this situation."

Interviewer: Is it necessary to build the tree?

Salma: "Yes absolutely, the tree should be placed and decorated at the beginning of December, to start preparing for the holiday. This tree is a blessing from God, maybe it will bless us so the situation can be fixed and we can return to our homes. Many people do not want to immigrate. This is our country and it is very important to us, when we think of what happened to our country we feel sad, but what can we do?"

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Peshmerga Distributes Aid to Yazidis ...
By rsoufi
01 Dec 2014

December 22, 2014
Sinjar, Iraq

The Kurdish Peshmerga are distributing aid to Yazidi civilians on Mount Sinjar after forcing fighters of the extremist Islamic State miltia to retreat from the area. Convoys of Peshmerga members drive around giving aid to the thousands of families that have been trapped on the mountain since ISIS took over the area in August 2014.

Backed by US-led airstrikes, the Kurdish Peshmerga were finally able to break the ISIS siege of Sinjar on December 19, and are still battling the Islamic militants around the area.

Kurdish authorities say that their latest offensive has cut the ISIS supply line to Mosul, and that Kurdish fighters will join the right to retake Iraq’s second largest city, if they are asked by the Iraqi Army.


  • (01:02) Mohamed Moussa, Peshmerga Fighter (man, Arabic):

The people here have lots of needs. They have no water, nor soup, nor food.. They have nothing at all.. Now more vehicles carrying aid will be arriving.

  • (01:19) Yazidi civilian (man, Kurdish):

We need gas, oil, floor and rice. We need so many things.. We are in a critical situation and bad living conditions. We have been under the siege for the last four months and the barely have a loaf of bread.

والله محتاجين غاز والنفط والطحين والرز نحتاج كل شيء اوضاعنا سيئة منذ اربعة اشهر نحن في حصار وكنا نحصل على قطعة خبز صغيرة بصعوبة جدا

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Christians Farming on ISIS Frontline
al-Qosh, Iraq
By rsoufi
09 Dec 2014

December 9, 2014
Al-Qosh, Iraq

Last season Amir and Adib Gerges, sibling farmers, were unable to sell their harvest because of an ISIS attack on their homes, in the town of al-Qosh in the largely Christian Nineveh Valley, forced them to flee. Since then, their town has been retaken by the Kurdish Peshmerga and the brothers have returned to work on their farms, despite the fact that ISIS controls territory less than 10km away. The brothers are some of the very few farmers who were brave enough to return to their land. Other farmers either ran away from the conflict or are too scared to return because of the ongoing threat of fighting and land mines laid by retreating ISIS fighters. The brothers heard about the 13-year-old son of a farmer who died after stepping on a mine, in the neighboring town of Tel Isqof. Amir and Adib say that, although their safety is not guaranteed, they have no choice but to stay and work on their ancestral land.


Adib Gerges, Farmer (Man, Arabic)
(00:18-00:27) Interviewer: How much wheat did you plant today?
Adib: “Approximately 40-50 Dunam.”
Interviewer: How many Dunams left to plant?
Adib: “About 20-30 Dunams.”

Amir Gerges, Farmer, (Man, Arabic)
(01:08-01:17) Interviewer: Aren't you afraid?
Amir: “We are counting on God. We are not doing anything wrong.”
(01:22-01:42) Interviewer: You are in an unsafe area, in Nineveh valley. What guarantees do you have that it is safe to keep working on your land? Do you have hope?
Adib: “We are counting on God and God will help us, we hope for things to be resolved.”

(03:24-03:28) Interviewer: What is this?
Adib Gerges: “Seeds for wheat .”

Worker, (Man, Arabic)
(03:38-03:46) Interviewer: Are you not afraid to work here?
Worker: “No why would I be afraid? God is with us and he will help us, why would we be afraid?

(03:57-04:44) Interviewer: How do you feel when ISIS is so close to you?
Adib: “The Peshmerga are here, and we wish for better things to come.”
Interviewer: How much did you harvest?
Adib: “Out of 100 Dunams, we harvested 30.”
Interviewer: What did you do with it?
Adib: “We did not take it to the market yet.”
Interviewer: Why?
Adib: “We did not have time when the conflict happened. We left the area and did not have time to take the wheat to market so it stayed packed in the houses.”

(04:56-05:37) Interviewer: When did you start farming?
Adib: “It is a very old profession, our fathers and grand-fathers worked in cultivation and we are continuing on the same path.”
Interviewer: Do you intended to leave your land?
Adib: “No, our land is very precious, we cannot leave it.”
Interviewer: “Many Christians left their land and went to Europe and many other places.”
Adib: “What can I tell you? Each person does what he pleases.”
Interviewer: What do you think?
Adib: “We hope for the best and that we never have to leave our land.”

(05:57-07:14) Interviewer: Many Christians left the area, but you stayed to guard your land. Why?
Amir: “Yes, the land is very precious, we cannot leave or land. Our country is also precious. This situation will definitely come to an end and the problems will be solved. We work, benefit, and raise our children well. We give them good education and live well. That is what we should do. War and fighting helps nobody.”

(07:32-07:49) Amir: “A person does not abandon his land, his home, and his country. Wherever this person goes, he will find himself a stranger. We cannot leave our land. It is too valuable to us.”

(08:00-08:40) Amir: “The Pershmerga forces are controlling the area. One farmer stepped on a ground-mine, it exploded and he died. He was 13 years old, and had three siblings. It happened about 10-15 days ago.”
Interviewer: Who planted those mines?
Amir Gerges: “Nobody except ISIS.”

(08:50-09:14) Amir: “We have no manure so we bought some from the black market. Concerning gas, we received help from Kurdistan.”

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18 Year-old Kurdish Rapper Fights ISI...
By rsoufi
25 Nov 2014

November 25, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

18 year-old Kurdish rapper Ali has released a song attacking ISIS calling them 'obscene' and un-Islamic. His cites 'sadness and anger' as his inspiration and targets the youth of Iraq as his audience.

Ali began rapping three years ago and has so far recorded eight songs, one of which he has released. The song speaks out against ISIS and encourages the youth to join the Peshmerga and fight against them. The Kurdish teenager is preparing to release another song with a similar theme, which he is writing with the help of his friend Mohammed.

To produce songs is not cheap (each song costs around $800) so Ali does odd jobs in order to earn money for his recordings. His father also helps him out by giving him money to record his songs. Ali is not yet nationally known but does get recognized in his hometown of Dohuk.


Alend Safer, Ali's Brother (man, Kurdish):

(00:31) "We support Ali and his rap career. Hopefully he will create some good work to serve our community and I hope his career lasts and his talent grows."

(00:45) Interviewer: You as a young man, do you understand what your brother is expressing?

(00:49) "Considering the current situation of rap music, my brother was able to present a great thing I see him moving forward towards finding his own place in the community."

(01:03) "I think in the community, there are people who do not understand Ali's work and they do not appreciate that he is creating a type of art. They might consider hurting him because of the rap songs he produces."

(01:22) "Ali produced a song about ISIS and their criminal actions and hopefully he will do a similar one about the reality of our community."

Mohamad Harouri, Ali's friend and co-writer (man, Kurdish):

(03:38) I participated with Ali in producing a special song to cheer on the Peshmerga and threaten our enemy. We are getting ready to produce a new song against ISIS, in addition to other artistic productions in the romantic genre."

"Ali and I have reached an advanced stage in working together and we have known each other for a long period of time. We always exchange thoughts about the subject of the song and we cooperate in writing the lyrics and producing it."

(04:06) "We are working in this field to deliver a message to the community and try to make a change in our surrounding by talking about the problems and showing the truth. I think we have influenced many young men in Dohuk who are now recording rap songs to express the reality of their situation."

Interviewer: Do you think that Ali, your colleague, was able to express your own feelings through his productions?

Mohamad: No doubt, I heard many of his songs and they were all inspired by the stories of our lives and our reality. Two of his songs especially got me really emotional because they express the reality."

Ali Safer, Rapper (man, Kurdish):

(06:42) "About three years ago, at the beginning of 2012, I started rapping. My love for rap music goes way back but I never imagined that I could start doing it myself until 2012. I discovered that I had writing skills that I did not know I had and also that I was able to do rap music. Things evolved until I started recording some songs."

(07:12) "I prepared seven songs and recorded them, but did not publish them until now. I am still reviewing some of those songs and editing them. Now I am preparing and recording the eighth song. It will be published with the help of a friend of mine, who supported me and had a huge role in launching my career."

(07:46) "When I rap, I express my feelings, what is in my heart, and what is going on in my life. I feel like I am showing people the truth through my songs."

Interviewer: Do you write your own songs? Who helps you?

Ali: "My colleague Mohamad helps me."

Interviewer: Who else?

Ali: "Nobody."

Interviewer: Do you write your own lyrics most of the time?

Ali: "Yes that is right. But Mohamad is helping me too, especially in discussing the topics and ideas of the songs."

Interviewer: What is your inspiration?

Ali: "Sadness and anger are my inspiration."

Interviewer: How?

Ali: "In times when I am in a sad situation, I get ideas, write them down, and use them as material for my songs."

Interviewer: Does that means your ideas express that troubles of young men?

Ali: "Yes the troubles of young men, and the country."

(08:45) "I always suspect that I am in danger because of what I produce but I am confident and willing to face any situation, in spite of the doubts and the risks."

Interviewer: Do you ever feel that you could face trouble?

Ali: "Yes, constantly."

Interviewer: Do you ever receive threats?

Ali: "Not yet."

Interviewer: Have you faced obstacles in your career?

Ali: "Yes I faced lots of objections, but I did not give up on what I wanted to do."

Interviewer: Were you mocked for your ideas?

Ali: "Yes."

Interviewer: How?

Ali: "In the beginning many of my friends and relatives used to make fun of my ideas and what I am representing, and they used to criticize rap music generally. But I always replied to them by saying that what I am representing is too big to be criticized this way. Art is an immortal thing and it does not die with the person."

(09:39) "I understand the situation of the young generation here."

Interviewer: What is their situation?

Ali: "It is bad."

Interviewer: How?

Ali: "The situation of the youth in Iraq and Kurdistan is very bad. After the age of 18, 80% of them have problems and struggles because of the violent situation of the country."

(10:09) "In this song, I talk about oppression and ISIS. ISIS attacks people and threatens them with murder if they do not support them, so people follow them for fear of death and, if they refuse, their lives would be in danger. Even before ISIS, terrorism and explosions were taking place in Mosul and many areas of Iraq."



"This is a song against ISIS, we aim to attack this enemy through this song,

I am Kurdish, I am not ISIS like you. I am not obscene like you,

You chop off heads and and slay a child in front of their mother and watch the tears running down her face,

Unfortunately you do not have the qualities of men, you know you will not remain,

What type of humans are you? How did you come together? Each one of you came from a different place to ruin this place.. but you do not have the qualities of men."


"This is a song about the suffering of life,

Look at my life, at the suffering and the pain,

My mother always tells me that my faith is related to the pen,

Mother, don't you see that the pain and the suffering is dragging us down?

Even when we take a picture, the lens of the camera focuses on our sadness,

Mother, my teachers have always told me to read,

My reply was always that I would finish studying but will never find a job."


"I am Kurdish, I am not ISIS like you. I am not obscene like you,

You speak in the name of the caliphates, but you do not know religion, and nothing you say is correct,

You chop off heads in the name of religion, but in Islam there is nothing like that,

You throw the honor and dignity of people on the floor, slay the child while their mother's tears run down her face."

  • الند سفر، شقيق علي:

(00:31) نحن ندعم علي في تأديته لفن الراب وإنشاء الله سيقدم عملا جيدا يخدم به مجتمعنا وامل ان يستمر ويطور موهبته (00:45) السؤال / يعني انت كشاب تتفهم ما يقدمه أخاك (00:49) الجواب / نظرا للوضع الحالي كفن الراب تمكن أخي تقديم شيء جميل لحد الآن وأرى أنه يخطو نحو التطور شيئا فشيئا ويجد له مكانة في المجتمع

(01:03) اعتقد ان في المجتمع من لا يتفهم اعمال علي ولا يقدرون ان ما يقدمه مجرد فن، وربما يقدمون على ضربه او اذيته بسبب أغاني الراب التي يقدمها.

(01:22) أعد علي أغنية حول تنظيم داعش العدو واجرامه وإنشاءالله سيقدم اعملا مماثلة تعبر عن حقيقة ما يجري في مجتمعنا

  • محمد هروري، صديق علي ومساعده لكتابة الاغاني:

(03:38) ساهمت مع علي في إنتاج أغنية خاصة لتشجيع البيشمركة والتنديد بالعدو ونحن نستعد لإنتاج أغنية جديدة خاصة (ضد داعش) فضلا عن أن هناك انتاجات فنية أخرى خاصة بالحب والرومانسية يعني توصلت مع علي إلى مرحلة متقدمة في العمل ونحن نعرف بعضنا البعض منذ مدة طويلة ونحن دائما نتبادل الآراء حول إختيار مواضيع الأغاني ونتعاون كثيرا في الكتابة والانتاج.

(04:06) والله نحن نعمل في هذا المجال لإيصال رسالة إلى المجتمع ونحاول احداث تغيير في محيطنا عبر طرح المشكلة واظهار الحقيقة. اعتقد اننا اثرنا في العديد من شباب دهوك الذين باتوا يسجلون اغاني راب يعبرون فيها عن الواقع باسلوبهم السؤال / هل تعتقد ان زميلك علي تمكن من التعبير عن مشاعرك من خلال نتاجاته؟ الجواب/ لاشك إنني سمعت الكثير من أغانيه وأنا مستوحاه من قصص حياتنا و واقعنا وخصوصا أن إثنين من أغانيه هزت مشاعري وعشقتها كثيرا لأنها قصص واقعية

  • علي، مغني الراب:

(06:42) قبل ثلاثة اعوام في بداية العام 2012 بدأت بممارسة أغاني الراب. طبعا يعود عشقي لهذا الفن لقبل هذه الفترة لكن لم تكن لدي الفكرة والاعتقاد بانني قد امارس هذا الفن حتى العام 2012 حين اكتشفت انه لدي بعض المهارات في الكتابة وتادية اغاني الراب وبدأت الامور تطور حتى سجلت بعض الاغاني.

(07:12) في أول مرة قمت بإعداد سبعة اغاني وسجلتها ولحد الآن لم أنشرها وهي محفوظة لدي. لا ازال اعيد النظر فيالبعض منها واقوم بإجراء التعديلات عليها. الان اقوم بإعداد وتسجيل المقطع الثامن وسينشر بمساعدة صديق قدم لي مساعدة كبيرة وكان له دور رئيسي في تقديم الدعم الفني لي.

(07:46) حين اغني الراب أنا أعبر عن ما بداخلي و ما في قلبي وما في حياتي أعبر عن ذلك واشعر بانني استعرض الحقائق من خالا الاغاني

السؤال/ هل انت تكتب أغانيك من هم الذين يساعدوك الجواب / زميلي محمد السؤال/ وبعده الجواب / لا أحد السؤال/ يعني في أغلب المرات أنت تكتب كلماتك الجواب/ أنا ولكن أخ محمد يساعدني أيضا في ذلك خصوصا في مناقشة المواضيع والأفكار التي نكتبها لأغنياتي السؤال / من أين تستوحي أفكارك السؤال / أفكاري تأتي من الحزن والغضب السؤال / كيف الجواب /يعني في الكثير من المرات انا في أوضاع حزينة تأتيني أفكار وأنا أدون تلك الأفكار وأستفيد منها لنتاجاتي السؤال/ يعني أفكارك تعبر عن هموم الشباب الجواب/ نعم هموم الشباب وهموم الحياة والوطن وكل شيء

(08:45) أنا دائما أشك في انني قد اتعرض لخطر ما بسبب ما اقدم لكنني واثق من نفسي وأنا مستعد لمواجه أية حالة، رغم ذلك لدي شكوك وهواجس من الاخطار السؤال هل فكرت في انك قد تواجه مشكلة ما الجواب / نعم وبإستمرار السؤال/ هل تلقيت تهديدات الجواب / لا حتى الآن لا السؤال / هل واجهت عوائق في طريقك الفني الجواب / نعم لقد واجهت إعتراضات لكنني لم أتخلى عن ما اقدمه السؤال / وهل تعرضت للإستهزاء والإستخفاف من محيطك الجواب / نعم السؤال / كيف الجواب / يعني في بداياتي الكثير من أصدقائي وأقربائي كانوا يستخفون بي ويستهزؤون بما أقدمه ويقزمون فن الراب بالمطلق، لكنني كنت ارد دائما بأن الفن الذي اقدمه أكبر من ان ينتقد بهذه الطريقة .. الفن هوشيء كبير كونه شيء خالد لايموت لكن الإنسان يموت

(09:39) أنا أفهم وضع الشباب كثيرا السؤال / يعني /كيف هي أوضاعهم الجواب / سيء السؤال / كيف الجواب / وضع الشباب في العراق وكوردستان سيء. بعد عمر الثامنة عشر يعيش اغلبهم ربما 80% منهم مع الهموم وتداعيات العنف الذي يجتاح البلاد

(10:09) في هذه الاغنية اتناول القهر يعني مثل داعش .. داعش يعتدى على الإنسان ويقول إن كنت لست معي سأقتلك لذلك سأضطر الإلتحاق بهم بهم رغما عن إرادتي وإذا رفضت تعرضت حياتي للخطر ، وحتى قبل داعش الإرهاب والإنفجارات كثيرة في الموصل والأماكن الأخرى في العراق.

  • كلمات الاغاني: (25:02) هذه أغنية ضد داعش نهدف من خلاله ضرب هذا العدو ..أنا كردي لست مثلك داعش .. ولست مثلك فاحش أنت تقطع الرؤوس وترميها على الشارع وتذبح الطفل أمام أمه وتنظر كيف تنهمر الدموع من عيونها

للأسف أنتم لا تملكون صفات الرجولة لذلك فلتعرفوا أن البقاء ليست لكم من أي نوع من البشر أنتم ؟.. وكيف إجتمعتم.. كل واحد منكم من مكان لتخربوا هذا المكان.. لكنكم لاتحملون صفات الرجال. (03:10)

(43:03) هي أغنية عن معاناة الحياة ..أنظري إلى حياتي فيها الكثير من المعاناة والآلام والدتي تقول لي دائما مصير حياتك مرتبط بالقلم يا أمي ألاّ ترين أن الهموم والمعاناة أخذت تجذبنا وحتى في إلتقاط صورنا ركزت عدسات الكاميرات على همومنا يا أمي كان معلمي دائما يقول لي أقرأ وكان ردي على المعلم أنه سأكمل كل مراحل الدراسة لكني لن أحصل على فرصة عمل.. (12:04)

(09:48) ..أنا كردي لست مثلك داعش .. ولست مثلك فاحش أنت تتحدث بإسم خلفاء الدين ، ولست من الدين في شيء.. ليس صحيحا ماتقول.. أنت تقطع الرؤوس بإسم دين الإسلام.. في دين الإسلام لا يوجد شيء كهذا وأنت ترمي شرف وكرامة الناس على الشارع .. وتذبح الطفل فيما تنهمر الدموع من عيون أمه.. (10:05)

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ISIS Demolishes 800-Year-Old Yazidi T...
Nineveh Valley, Iraq
By rsoufi
16 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Nineveh Valley, Iraq

ISIS fighters demolished, Sheikh Hassan temple (also knows as Sheikh Sin), an 800 year-old Yazidi temple in the Iraqi village of Babila after they taking control over vast swathes of the Nineveh Valley at the beginning of August 2014. The extremist group destroyed the neighboring temple known as Sheikh Makhfi as well.
Residents of the Nineveh Valley, largely consisting of minority groups, started returning to their towns at the end of October, after Kurdish Peshmerga forces drove out ISIS militants, to find their properties razed to the ground or looted.

Hassan, Caretaker of the Sheikh Hassan (Sheikh Sin) temple, (man, Arabic):

“This shrine is [dedicated to] Sheikh Hassan. In the distant past, this man was a good person – a benefactor who helped Yazidi people carry out their religious duties.This was about 700 or 800 years ago. It is located in the village of Babira. Yezidis used to visit this shrine once or twice a year, [or] every Wednesday and Friday. This photo shows Sheikh Hassan’s shrine in the old times. How do I feel? We only stood and cried. What can I say? We only cried. We could not even talk. No one was able to say anything. “ Jassen Silou, Caretaker of the Sheikh Makhfi temple, (man, Arabic)

“We are Iraqis; no one could say that we are not Iraqis. We came here in the era of the prophets. We have been in Iraq since before Adam and Eve. Until now, we and the Arabs are brothers and neighbors, but they broke the law; they broke the law. This place is holy for us, regardless of whether it has been blown up or not. On Wednesdays people come here and light fire; it is called ‘the wick.’ They also come to light ‘the wick’ on Friday, at sunset. These are the holy days for us, Yazidis – Wednesdays and Fridays. This is an old thing; something historic. We did not start this yesterday."

Shot List:

00:00 - 02:04 Various shots of Sheikh Hassan (Sheikh Sin) temple
02:05 - 03:46 Various shots of Sheikh Makhfi temple

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The Good Samaritan Barbers of Dohuk
By rsoufi
17 Nov 2014

November 17, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Kamal, Tariq, and Daoud, are three refugee Yazidi childhood friends who turned a tent into a barbershop in the Bajed Kandel refugee camp in Fichkhabur, Dohuk. The barbershop receives more than 30 customers a day, many of whom receive a free haircut. The three friends, who used to be barbers in Sinjar, escaped carrying all of their haircutting equipment after ISIS took over their hometown at the beginning of August 2014. Their new rudimentary barbershop helps them to make a modest living but the fact that they do many haircuts for free affects their earnings.


Kamal Moussa, Yazidi refugee barber, (man, Arabic)

(02:13-02:26) "We opened this shop to help the refugees and the poor. The person who has money and wants to pay us can do that, and the person who does not have money, we are here to help them."

(02:34-02:57) "We get about 30 people per day. I charge 1000 Iraqi Dinar [less than $1] or 2000 or 3000, for children only 1000 and for someone who does not have money, I cut their hair for free."

(03:03-03:23) "We do not do different hair styles. It is the same hair cut for everyone. When hair gets long in these conditions it gets dirty, so we cut it. We do not have the means to keep the tents clean. It is not like a house."

Daoud Ahmad, Yazidi refugee barber (man, Arabic):

(03:44-03:55) "We are obliged to come and cut hair or else it will get long and dirty. It is cleaner this way."

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Disabled Colonel Dies Diffusing ISIS ...
By rsoufi
06 Nov 2014

November 5, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

A Kurdish ex-Peshmerga Colonel, who lost a leg to a mine six years ago, was killed today (November 11) while diffusing mines in Iraq. 42 year old Fakher Berwari, an explosives expert, had his right leg amputated after stepping on a mine in a military operation in 2008. He died in an explosion in the same area, near Zumar, where this video was shot earlier in November. Berwari had returned to the area, on the front line in the battles between the Peshmerga and ISIS, to help the locals remove mines from homes, streets, and construction sites. The battle of Zumar was fought between the Kurdish Peshmerga and ISIS from the 1st to the 4th of August 2014, resulting in ISIS capturing the city. On October 24th Peshmerga forces, with the help of US air strikes, succeeded in recapturing Zumar.


Fakher Berwari, former Peshmerga colonel (man, Arabic):


Fakher Berwari:
(00:52-01:24) "These are explosives here in Zumar, an area that is inhabited by innocent people, who drive in their cars on the high ways. I came here to disable these explosives and to help people as much as I can, to return to their towns. Those children were not even able to enter their homes because many Kurdish houses are packed with explosives."

(01:34-02:18) "I am a disabled person so my military service is finished, but I am doing this work to help people. My conscience did not allow me to overlook this."

Interviewer: So you rely on your expertise in this work?

"Yes I count on my expertise and God. This is work for humanity, it is not for money. I am volunteering to serve my country and the people."

(02:24-02:40) "Many people fell victim to this conflict. We do not have information and the houses are infested with explosives. If a person is not an expert or had not seen explosives before, he will not know how to find them."

(02:45-03:08) "I will sacrifice myself, if i die it is not a problem. I am only one person, but for other people to die and for houses and building to be destroyed, that is bad. If I die helping these people, it is a humane act. Maybe God will forgive us for all we have done."

(03:17-04:36) "They left a missile on the top of the well outside along with two glue buckets. If the owners of the house had entered, it would have exploded and injured them."

Interviewer: Are the owners of the house able to return to it?

"Yes hopefully they can. Look they leave everything, buckets and even bags, they are criminals."

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Yazidi Children Die in Accidental Ten...
By rsoufi
20 Oct 2014

October 21, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Yazidi refugee Saido was able to save his family from certain death at the hands of ISIS by fleeing Sinjar and taking them to Khaneq refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan. However it was here in supposed safety that tragedy struck. When Saido and his wife left his brother’s tent, where they had been spending the evening, they saw their own tent on fire. By the time they got close enough there was nothing they could do but watch as their children burned to death. His three children Sima, Saman, Sebar, aged 4, 7, and 2 respectively, perished in the accidental tent fire caused by a burning candle. The bereaved father is left with just two children, one of whom is partially paralyzed and suffers from epilepsy.


Zahra, mother (Woman, Kurdish):

(00:56) "Sima was as old as this one [she points at a child] and Saman was as old as this one. This child is 10 months older than Sebar. I wish I died instead of them." (01:20)

Seido Shenkali, father (Man, Arabic):

(02:45) Our children were sleeping here [the same position in the other tent] with my mother and father sitting next to them. Then my wife suggested that we all go to my neighbor's tent, so we went and we left them sleeping in the tent right in front of where we were. After a while, my wife told me that we should return to the tent because it was windy and raining and the children were sleeping. So I left my neighbor's tent and walked out to find the children's tent on fire and I started screaming. I had three children, Saman, Sima, and Sebar, when we went to save them they were dead." (03:59)

(04:04) "I ask for any person who is able to help me, to do so. I do not have anything anymore. My children died, all I have left is this child who is sick and epileptic. I ask for all the officials to see my situation. I only have this boy and this girl. The boy is sick, his medications are very expensive, and i cannot get them from any governmental institution." (04:42)

(04:46) "I tried to save them from ISIS, it is all because of them. I tried to save them and brought them here, but they burned to death." (04:42)

Khedr Shenkali, uncle, (Man, Arabic):

(05:21) "There was a lit candle, and their parents were in the other tent, the tent burnt and they died." (05:38)

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Yazidi Refugee Women Sell Hand-Made B...
By rsoufi
21 Oct 2014

October 17, 2014
Khaneq Camp, Dohuk, Iraq

Yazidi refugee women hand make clay ovens for baking bread and sell them to other refugees. Back in their village in Sinjar they used make the ovens for themselves but now they are refugees and are looking for income they have started to sell their creations. With the winter coming it is getting more difficult to produce the ovens. What used to be a three day process of shaping and drying the ovens can now take up to one week because of rain. Of the four women making the ovens, two prepare the clay and the other two shape the ovens, meaning that between them they can build up to four ovens per day. Each oven is sold for 25,000 Iraqi Dinar ($21) and on average they sell between one and three ovens per week. Despite their efforts the refugee women are still not making enough money to support their families who are living with them in the refugee camp.


Interviewer: What are you making?(00:22)
Nissan petr Issa (woman, Kurdish): "This is an oven for making bread. We make them out of clay and then use them to bake bread." (00:41)

Interviewer: What do you do with all of these ovens?
Nissan: "We sell them because we are in need, we sell each one for 25,000 Iraqi Dinar." (00:57)

Interviewer: How many ovens do you sell per day? (00:59)
Nissan: "I sell 1-3 ovens per week." (01:07)

Interviewer: Who buys from you?(01:08)
Nissan: "The inhabitants of this camp and the refugees. But we are facing a problem nowadays because of the rain, the clay ovens are not drying quickly." (01:16)

Interviewer: Who did you say buys from you? (01:08)
Nissan: refugees in this camp. (01:29)

Interviewer: How long have you done this work? (01:29)
Nissan: "We used to make ovens when we were in Sinjar, but did not sell them, we used to make them for personal use. But now after we became refugees, we started making them to sell them in order to be able to provide for our families and get our needs." (01:41)

(01:47) Nissan: "The rain ruined this oven and I have to work on fixing it." (01:52)

Interviewer: Up until now, how many ovens have you sold?
(02:02) Nissan: "I was able to sell 12 ovens since i started working. We hope to sell the ones we are currently making, but the rain slowed us down." (02:08)

Interviewer: How many ovens do you make per day?
(02:10) Nissan: "We are four women, we help each other. Two prepare the clay and two build the oven. We make about 4 ovens per day." (02:19)

Interviewer: Is the revenue from this kind of work enough to support you and your family?
(02:21) Nissan: "No it is not enough, my children are very young and we do not even have a house." (02:28)

Refugee (man, Arabic)
(01:53) "They are making clay ovens to sell them."

Interviewer: Do you benefit from this work?
Refugee (man arabic): "Yes of course, we are living off that now. Winter is coming, and we are refugees, we have nothing, we came from Sinjar. They are four, they work on making the ovens, but the oven cannot be finished in one day. It needs about three day to dry and be ready but in the rain it can take up to a week. We need 3-4 days to sell one of the ovens.

Refugee (woman, Arabic)
(05:31) "This bread tastes so much better than the regular bread, it is always better to make something for yourself." (05:44)

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Christian Home Victim of Coalition Ai...
Tel Isqof, Nineveh
By rsoufi
16 Oct 2014

October 16, 2014
Tel Isqof, Iraq

Standing amongst the piles of rubble, Camila cries and mourns her decimated home and lost memories. When Camila and her husband decided to return to the town of Tel Isqof, about 25 km north of Mosul, what they didn’t know was that their house had been razed to the ground.

According to Abu Ali, a Peshmerga fighter who was accompanying the family, the house was targeted in a coalition airstrike because ISIS fighters had been using it as a strategic base.

The Christian family fled Tel Isqof, leaving behind all of their possessions, after ISIS launched an assault and took over the largely Assyrian town in August 2014. However, the Kurdish Peshmerga, with the help of the coalition airstrikes, were able to drive ISIS out of the town by the beginning of October.

This is not the first time the family has had to relocate. They were forced to leave their home in Baghdad in 2009, following threatening phone calls from a militant group.

Now residing in the Chaldean Cultural Center in Dohuk, Camila and her family hope that they will soon be able to leave Iraq to a more peaceful life.


Interviewer: Where are we going now?
Camila: "We are going to our house. My house is the last one by the road. A missile hit it and it is now destroyed. They said that ISIS members were sitting on the roof and they fired a missile on my house."

Interviewer: Where are you staying now?
Camila: "In Dohuk, in the hall of the literature center. Over 100 families are staying there."

Interviewer: What are you going to do now?
Camila: "What can we do? We left our place carrying only one bag, we thought that we were going to return home after a day or two. We did not know this was going to happen."

Interviewer: How did you feel when you saw your house?
Camila: "I saw it three times, what could I feel? Our belongings are gone, our memories are gone, what could I possible feel?"

(01:54) "We have been married for 34 years, now we lost our house and all we have left is in one bag."

(03:20) Interviewer: Are you intending to return here? Camila: "Return to what? We just want to leave."

Interviewer: What don’t you wish to return?
What is left for us to return to? Our house is gone. What is left for us?

Interviewer: What are you going to do?
Camila: "What can we do? We just want to find a solution to leave."(03:53)

Abu Sandi: This is my house, house number 55. This is it.

(04:09) Interviewer: How long have you been living in this village?

Abu Sandi: "I have lived here since 2009."

Interviewer: Where were you before?
Camila: "We have lived in Baghdad since 1976, then we got a phone call from people who threatened us, saying they wanted money, or else they would kidnap our daughters. We did not not have money to pay them, so we escaped and came to this village. Then we left the village and went to Dohuk, and now our house is destroyed. Now we do not have a house. Nothing."

Interviewer: So you cannot return home?
Camila: "Return where? Where would we stay? We just want them [officials] to find a solution so we can leave — my daughter, my husband, and I. I have a 16-year-old daughter, and another one who is married. I am also sick. We just want a solution to leave this place."

(05:41) Camila: "All my memories are in this house, my daughters, my husband and I. All my memories are gone, even the picture, I do not have one picture for my daughters. all is gone, all our memories are gone."

(06:30) Camila: "All of our memories were nice, our life was great. For fifteen years I did not have children, now I have two daughters. Now all our memories are gone. When we were leaving, Abu Sandi told me to take a pick of our daughter, in her wedding, so I told him that we do not need to take it, I only took one bag for me and my daughter, because we will back home in two days, and now it is all destroyed. I swear we only took a few item of clothes to change and sleep. we went to the church for one night. then they kept us in the car and told us to go towards the Turkish border. I told them that my husband is sick, if he falls ill on the way, we have nobody to take him to Dohuk. So they took us to the Chaldean Literature center, where there was a person named Aphra. He did his best to help us. We stayed there and everyone did what they could to help us — this is our situation. There are 100 families in that center, 100 families. But good people are everywhere. They give all the supplies we, but money."

(08:16) Interviewer: What do you want exactly? Camila: "I just want to find a solution to leave with my husband and daughter, that is all I want, I am sick. What can we do? Our house is gone, our memories are gone, what could we do? Should we start from scratch? Even if we were able to start from scratch — this is our village, our country. What could we do? We are forced to leave."

(05:59) "I want to see a photo of my daughters, there is not any.. Everything is gone, I just want to see a photo of my daughters or my husband, it is all gone."

Abu Sandi: "What is this missile, did they bomb the place?"

Camila: Two days before this happened, I was having lunch at home with Abu Sandi and I told him that our house can be targeted, it could be attacked at any minute.

Interviewer: "Why would you say that?
"I told him that I feel that it can be a target, because it is at the corner. Sometimes I used to be scared of staying at home. i used to go to my brother’s house, in the first alley there. My daughter used to cry, even though she is 16 years old. She used to cry and tell me: “We will not stay here, we will go over to my uncle’s house and sleep there.”

"We slept at my brother’s house for 4 to 5 days. We used to feel scared at night. Our house is at the corner. The guards used to roam around. We didn’t see them but we were afraid." (09:58)

Camila (10:00): "This is what happened when we fled to Dohuk. We left at 2 pm. We wanted to get a car, but there weren’t any cars. My husband, daughter and I were there, crying."

Camila (10:23): "What is left here? There is nothing."

Camila (11:19): "This is a toy for children. We can take this as a souvenir."

Camila (11:32) "I used to wear this scarf with a dress and go to parties. Now everything is gone, my dresses are gone, my memories are gone. The party days are also gone."

Frame 0004
Yazidis Refrain from Celebrating Reli...
By rsoufi
13 Oct 2014

October 13, 2014
Lalish temple, Shekhan District, East Dohuk, Iraq

This year, because of ISIS attacks, the Yazidis chose not to celebrate their most important religious holiday, the Jama Eid. Usually Yazidis from all over the world travel to the holy temple of Lalish in Iraq, for the seven-day ceremony, concluded by a festival in which they sacrifice a bull in accordance with their ancient rituals.

This year the festival did not take place, out of respect for the Yazidi victims in Sinjar. A few pilgrims visited the temple for prayer but the number was far lower than usual.

The Jama Eid is the longest amongst the Yazidi holidays and lasts for seven nights. It starts on October 6 and ends on October 14.


1) Khodr Sleiman, Yazidi writer and religious figure.
2) Nasr Hadji, Yazidi cleric.
3) Ibrahim, Yazidi pilgrim.
4) Nasser, Syrian Yazidi pilgrim.
5) Saiid Jardo, Yazidi writer and religious figure.
6) Ismael, Yazidi pilgrim.

Frame 0004
Syrian Kurds Flee Kobani
By rsoufi
12 Oct 2014

October 12, 2014
Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan

Hundreds of Syrian Kurdish families fled the city of Kobani, which has been under attack for over three weeks, to seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. To avoid the clashes the refugees crossed into Turkey, traveling along the border until they reached Kurdistan. The Kurdish government announced that the semi-autonomous state is ready to receive refugees from Kobani.

(00:23) Interviewer: where are you going now, where are they taking you? (Man, Arabic): “We do not know where we are going, or to where they are taking us.”

Interviewer: When did you leave Kobani?
(Man, Arabic): “We left Kobani three days ago.”

Interviewer: How was the situation in Kobani?
(Man, Arabic): “Concerning what? There is shelling, bombing, tanks, everything. Every deadly weapon is there. They got them from Mosul, Tikrite, al-Anbar, Raqqa, Aleppo, Tripoli, and they all attacked Kobani at once.”

(01:23) (Woman, Arabic): “We came from Turkey. We crossed the border on foot, then we came to Srouj, then to Orfa, we spent 21 days in Orfa, and yesterday we went to Sharnakh and it took us six hours on the road. Today we heard that they opened the gates, so we got on the buses and came here and we have been stuck in the busses for over six hours now, and we do not know what is going to happen to us. Are they going to take us to the camp, or give us residencies or IDs, or what they are going to do?”

(02:00) (Woman, Arabic): “We demand good treatment and support for the refugees. Some people do not have money, they should provide housing for them, and good life standards until we return home.”

(02:22) (Man, Arabic): “It is the same situation as the one when ISIS attacked Sinjar, and it is even worse.”

Interviewer: Is Kobani empty now?
“No it is not empty, there are many civilians there who are suffering from difficult situations.”

(02:56) (Man, Arabic): “We demand to have weapons to defend ourselves against the oppression from ISIS. They are using everything against us, tanks and cannons. If it was light weapons, we might have been able to defend ourselves. We would not have demanded the coalition countries to strike. We would not have needed that.”

Frame 0004
Refugees Build Mud Huts for Winter
By rsoufi
08 Oct 2014

October 8, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Refugees in the Khaneq camp in Dohuk build an insulated room with bricks made from mud. As winter draws closer, the temperature drops everyday, and last week the wind blew over some of the tents in the camp. To combat this some of the refugees have decided to construct a weatherproof building to protect them against the cold. More than 11,000 families live in the Khaneq camp which is only built to house 3,256 families.


(man, Arabic) Suleiman Shenkali, Refugee from Sinjar:

(02:06) we are making bricks, for the winter.

Interviewer: how?

(man, Arabic) Suleiman Shenkali, Refugee from Sinjar:

we mix mud with water and hay, we will use them to build a small room so we we can protect ourselves from the cold in the winter.

Interviewer: isn't it cold now?

(man, Arabic) Suleiman Shenkali, Refugee from Sinjar:

at night yes, it is a bit cold, but it gets hot during the day. (02:39)

(02:45) we are making bricks, we make about 200-250 bricks per day, to prepare ourselves for winter. a while ago we witnessed a storm, and to avoid sitting in a tent in such conditions we are building those bricks.

we are doing this so our children won't get cold. here in the Khaneq area, it gets very cold, so we are working and making bricks ourselves to protect our children from the cold. (03:20)

(man, Arabic) Bir Dayan, Member of aid committee for the Khaneq refugee camp:

(05:25) in the beginning we had them stay in schools, event halls, and unfinished buildings. we have almost 65,000 refugees, and they keep coming. we suffered from so many problems at the beginning and still suffering till this moment, because of the large number of refugees. we build the Khaneq camp, but this camp only fits 3256 families, and the refugees are almost 11,000 families. we are suffering a lot because of their needs, especially now while winter is approaching, they will need clothes, blankets and heating tools. (06:23)

Frame 0004
Kurdish Blacksmith Builds Homemade Ar...
By rsoufi
01 Oct 2014

October 1, 2014
Zakho, Iraq

Shebhaz Sindi, a Kurdish Blacksmith, is doing his part in the fight against ISIS by constructing armored vehicles for the Kurdish Peshmerga. The vehicles are customized trucks reinforced with several layers of steel to protect against bullets and other weaponry. After ISIS took over large areas of northern Iraq the Peshmerga announced their need for heavy artillery in order to fight the insurgents.

Shot List:

Various shots show the armor in the making process
Various shots show the armor in the finishing process


Interviewer: Where are you now in the process of making a military tank?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “I am in the final stage now. I have to work on the front side now. We need to make the armor 10cm thick in order to block the bullets.”

Interviewer: How long did the process of building the tank take?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “It took about two months.”

Interviewer: Can this tank be used in a battle?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Yes it will be ready to be used in a battle.”

Interviewer: Have you tested it?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Concerning mobility, yes we have tested it and drove it to the highway. It works perfectly. Concerning resistance, as you can see here, we have three layers of iron, so when the bullet hits the exterior layer it will not affect the second layer.”

Interviewer: Do you use your expertise to build a tank?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “I count on thinking and analyzing how the tank works, how it moves, and how it should be shaped. We focused on every aspect in order to successfully build a tank.”

Interviewer: Is this your first time building something like this?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Yes it is my first time building a tank.”

(03:53) Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “With the help of God we will use this tank to fight the people who dared to cross the border into Kurdistan.”

Interviewer: Can you tell us how you thought of the project?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “We thought of this project after we saw what was happening and how people were fleeing from Sinjar. We needed to build something to defend the people and ourselves. We thought of this project out of need.”

Interviewer: Now Kurdistan is demanding to have heavy artillery, what do you think of that?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “We are grateful to any person, or party or government who can provide us with weapons, and especially in these circumstances. We are very grateful and we are proud of any Kurdish person who can help us build more than this tank. We need people to build something and help us.”

Interviewer: Are you proud of yourself for making this?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Yes of course I am proud to be the first Kurdish man to even build a tank, and my area and all of Kurdistan is very proud of this invention.”

Interviewer: When are you going to build your next project?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “When we finish everything we will start building our second tank.”

Interviewer: Are you going to sell it for money?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “We didn’t ask for money, and we will not ask them for money, but if they paid us in order to help us we would accept it.”

Interviewer: If there were a factory to build tanks, would you be able to manage it?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Yes of course I have many ideas to build tanks more accurately and precisely.”

Interviewer: What would you like to tell people?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “I would like to tell them that the Kurdish people are very smart and able to build if there is cooperation.”

(08:24) Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “We decided to name the tank (khordman), it is a very nice Kurdish name.”

(08:50) Interviewer: How many soldiers can be seated in the tank?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Six, three on this side and three on this side.”

Interviewer: What about the weapons they will use?
Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith (Man, Arabic): “Here is the Doshka.”

Interviewer: Is there a mortar here?
Shehbaz Sindi, Ironworker (Man, Arabic): “No there isn’t, only a Doshka.

(11:28) Shehbaz Sindi, Blacksmith, (Man, Arabic): We want to make the country of Kurdistan proud by showing that there are Kurdish people here who can build artillery. And for the people who do not like Kurdistan or Kurdish people, they need to understand that Kurdish people are smart, intellectual and they are able to build any object they want. For those who would like to help us, they can come and meet with us so we can evolve and build bigger things.

Frame 0004
Passports Issued to Iraqi Minorities
By rsoufi
27 Sep 2014

September 27, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Thousands of refugees stand in long queues in front of the Passport Office in the city of Dohuk, Kurdistan to collect their passports. The huge number of refugees caused a considerable pressure for the officials, as it takes 5-6 months for each passport to be issued. This turnout comes following the announcement by a number of Western countries to grant asylum to refugees of religious and nationalist minorities.

Interviews :

(01:30) Youssef: "We are here to get a passport like everyone else, but it's taking us so long since everyone wants to get a passport. There should be 10 employees not only 1 on the desk. That's the second time I come here; I came last saturday, and they told me to come back today." (02:16)

(02:16) Contributor: What do you want from here? Why is it hard to stay in Iraq? (02:18). (02:18) Youssef: "Actually I want to emigrate. It's always better than here. Life outside Iraq is way better. It's very obvious why we want to leave; for them, we don't belong here anymore." (03:06)

(03:40) Contributor: Can you tell me about your story here? How many times did you come? (03:48) (03:49) Said: "I've been coming here every week since last April, but I think they should make the procedures faster than that." (04:28)

(04:28) Contributor: Do you plan to travel outside Iraq? (04:30). (04:31) Said: "If they grant us security in Iraq, we will not leave because there’s no better place than our homeland. But if the situation remains as it is, we will have to leave, since protecting the minorities is going to be hard." (05:05)

(05:18) Contributor: Why do you want to get your passport? (05:22) (05:24) Sermad: "I wish to get out of Iraq, because of the situation. We are really afraid of ISIS, we can't live this way anymore." (05:57)

(06:06) Firas: "I believe they should open their offices twice a week, not only once. I registered my name to get my passport, and it should be done by April 2015. Then, I will leave Iraq seeking stability in another country, because no body cares about us as minorities (Yazidis, Christians or any other sect). The politicians are busy with other matters, they promise but never commit. We as a minority we don't trust anyone anymore, we only want International protection." (07:33)

(08:26) Contributor: Hello, what are you waiting for here? (08:28) (08:29) Umm Sarah: "We are waiting for our passports here, we've been coming here for a month now, more than 5 times. I want to leave Iraq to Germany, because life here is hard now; we no longer have anything here. I come from Mosul, but now we can never go back with ISIS taking over the city. They took our houses, our girls, and they even took our rights from us; just because we are Yazidis. The religious minorities don't belong here anymore." (10:33)

(11:10) Contributor: Can you tell me how many persons have registered already ? (11:14). (11:15) Colonel Nayef Moussa, assistant director at the passport directorate in Dohuk: "The number varies from day to day, some days more than a 1000, other days around 500. In average, around 500 to 600 passports are made daily. As for the displaced, we devoted Saturdays for them, and we get requests from around 500 persons. Last week, we had more than 5000 requests." (12:09)

Frame 0004
An Orphan Cares for Orphans
Khaneq refugee camp
By rsoufi
26 Sep 2014

September 26. 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

It is known that their father is dead, killed by Islamic State militants. No one knows what happened to their mother. Four year old Siraj and two year old Nesbir are Iraqi Yazidi brothers, orphans, being cared for by another orphan. Twenty year old Salah whose parents were killed in the frantic escape from the city of Sinjar, says he found the two little children alone on a road on August 9th. He took the brothers to Mount Sinjar, remaining there with thousands of other Yazidis until they could walk to safety in Khaneq refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Salah, Yazidi Refugee (man, Arabic):
(00:45) “Their father is dead, and nobody knows where their mother is, we saw them next to us while we were walking and we brought them with us, we got so tired carrying them through the mountain and then we walked all the way ti Syria, and we brought them here to take care of them. we have to buy them milk and diapers and all their needs, we are raising them just like our own children”.

(02:03) “I tried to play with them and entertain them when they get bored, they start crying and they miss their parents, so i try play with them and get them to play with the other children so they can forget about their parents. they do not even have shoes, they sleep on these mattresses and I bathe them every morning. I get water and wash them”.

(03:20) “He does not even have shoes, Look”.

(03:55) “We will see what will happen to them in the future, we are trying to raise them and, this one is 4 years old, he should go to school soon, and this one is 2-3 years old”.

(04:16) “Interviewer: do you feel tired from taking care of them?

Yes it is tirying but still i am trying to raise them and take care of them, I play with them so they do not get bored, and take them to play with the other children”.

Shukri Rashid, Member of the Supervising Committee
(06:12) “I do not have accurate statistics for the children but the field study in Khanki and Sharya camps show that there are dozens of orphan Yazidi children, who their parents were killed by ISIS”.

(06:35) “Their future is directly related to the political situation in the area, when it improves they can go to a better place, they cannot go back to their area unless they have international protection with them, they fear the reoccurrence of ISIS attacks”.

Frame 0004
Assyrian Christians Arm for Self-Defense
By rsoufi
25 Sep 2014

September 25, 2014
Nineveh, Iraq

A group of young men from the Christian town of al-Qosh, in the Nineveh valley, volunteer to defend their area after ISIS took control over many surrounding Christian villages and towns. The men are being trained by former Christian Iraqi Army soldiers in basic military tactics and how to use artillery weapons. They are also going on patrols to guard their town. Most of the volunteers are using weapons that they own personally.

Attra, a former teacher and volunteer fighter states that, as Christians, they were obliged to take up arms to defend their freedom. Fouad Massoud, a leader in the ‘Assyrian Democratic Movement’ confirms that the movement and the volunteers might not have enough resources to defend against a terrorist attack, but they do not have a choice. He also said that the Assyrian Christians have been persecuted for 10 years and need regional and international recognition and military support to help them defend themselves.


Attra, volunteer fighter and former teacher, (man, Arabic)
Interviewer: Attra, can you tell me your story? How did you volunteer to defend the Christians?
“I used to be a Syriac language teacher about 3-4 months ago in al-Osqof village. As you know ISIS took over al-Osqof but it was taken back from them, but we still have no schools and we are not teaching now. We had to arm ourselves. We were forced to carry weapons because we did not see any other solution. As you know the Iraqi army had retreated from Mosul three months ago, and one month ago Pershmerga forces retreated from the Nineveh valley. There is a common saying, "If you do not cry for yourself, no one would cry for you.” So we had to defend the remaining villages and take back the villages that were taken from us.”

Fouad Masoud, Leader of the armed Christian group, (man, Arabic):
“After ISIS took over some areas, the inhabitants of those areas contacted us as the Democratic Assyrian movement to volunteer and fight to liberate their areas. This happened because the Iraqi army is not in the area and neither are the Peshmerga. They are not from the area, and they will not defend it the way the citizens of the area would. No, we want to contribute to the security of the area. We did not do that before, the Peshmerga was handling this matter, but now we can say we are effective contributors in the security of the area of the Nineveh valley.” “At first the movement was initiated to help the citizens and they responded by signing up to be volunteers. There are people volunteering constantly but the numbers are not high. I am only speaking about this part of the Nineveh valley, but I do not know about the other parts, I assume they have big numbers.” “Each group protects their own area. We insist on declaring the Nineveh valley as a safe area, because the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga are gone, and now the Nineveh valley is considered an easy target for ISIS.” “We have fitness training, weapons training, for new recruits who do not know how to use them. As for the rest, most of them were in the Iraqi army and so know how to use weapons.” “There is fear that ISIS will take over and force its dark thoughts on us. The people here like freedom and democracy, so the inhabitants of the area are feeling very distressed. Why would a terrorist group like this come and take over their town and destroy everything?” “If we were properly armed before, we would have been able to shut the door in ISIS's face and never let them in. But we were very neglected and we did not contribute to the security issue of the area.” “If these young men were recognized as contributing in the securing of the area, and were armed from the beginning, we would not have allowed ISIS to get this far.”

Frame 0004
Turkish Dam Dries Up Kurdish Lands
By rsoufi
22 Sep 2014

September 22, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Residents of Dashttak, a Christian village on the Iraqi-Turkish border, are no longer able to cultivate their land because of water shortages caused by a dam constructed by the Turkish authorities on the Hazel River.
Boulos Boutros is a local farmer who has been forced to abandon his once fertile land. Because his livelihood has been decimated over the last two years by the drought, he no longer has the means to rejuvenate the soil that is now completely barren.
According to the mayor Korial Mekhael, the dam that was built on the Turkish side of the Hazel River has caused a 60% decrease in water levels. This has caused many residents, who are mainly farmers, to leave their homes and lands and relocate to Zahko, which is already overflowing with refugees. The mayor went on to suggest that the Turkish government built this dam to channel more water to the arable lands on their side of the border, with no consideration of the farmers in the semiautonomous Kurdish region.


Korial Mekhael, Mayor of Dashttak (man, Arabic):
“There is the dam, they made a bridge and now the cars can cross all the way here. It has affected us mostly concerning our water. We do not have water anymore because the area of Silopi took half of it.”

Interviewer: How was it before the dam?
Korial Mekhael: “There was a lot of water.”

Interviewer: Did that affect the agriculture?
Korial Mekhael: It affected our agriculture and the land further inside the region.”

Boulos Boutros, farmer (man Arabic):
“I have a huge orchard, we spent a lot of money on it, and when the Turks built the dam, they dumped a huge amount of water on my orchard and destroyed it. We lack water and our plants are dehydrated.”

Interviewer: Did it happen that people quit agriculture because of the lack of water?
Korial Mekhael: “They have. If there is no water you cannot plant anything, they left the area and went to Zakho.”

Interviewer: What are they doing now, since they stopped working in agriculture?
Korial Mekhael: “They are workers.”

Boulos Boutros: “We spent almost $50,000-60,000 on our orchards, we have been demanding compensation for three years and we brought a committee from Erbil and nothing happened.”

Interviewer: Are you intending to leave your orchard?
Boulos Boutros: “I already have, there is nothing anymore. We cannot even water it. We do not have the financial ability to fix the land so we are going to leave it.”

Interviewer: If you leave your land, what are you going to do?
Boulos Boutros: “Nothing.”

Frame 0004
Former Iraqi Policeman Sells Used Clo...
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.


(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)

Frame 0004
Yazidis Survive ISIS Genocide
By rsoufi
17 Sep 2014

September 17, 2014
Zakho, Kurdish-Iraq Border

Ali Sammi is one of three Yazidi's who survived an ISIS massacre. Islamic State militants rounded up the Yazidi villagers, put them in the bottom of an empty pool before firing on them with machine guns. Ali Sammi was miraculously not killed and waited until nightfall to flee to safety through the Sinjar mountains. Daood Salem was another Yazidi lucky to escape with his life. He states that he lost his family members who were either murdered or taken by ISIS to Mosul or Syria and used as slaves. These Yazidi men are now residing with many other Yazidi refugees in a UNHCR makeshift camp in the Razkhay School, Zakho, 50km north of Dohuk.

(20 minute interview with Ali Sammi available on request)


Ali Sammi, Yazidi survivor, (male, Arabic)
(00:01) “I was shot in the back by ISIS fighters, and also in my shoulder.” (00:20)

(00:29) “ISIS were near the sand blocks, 20 armed men told us to get out of the car, and sit on the floor with our heads down. When they said "Allah Akbar the Islamic state remains", they gave an order to shoot, and they shot us, three times. The first time, it was random shooting, the second time, they sensed that some people were still alive, and the third time they aimed towards our heads. Me and my two friends are the only survivors from that group. We crawled our way out of that area”. (01:55)

(02:01) “We escaped towards the fields, then we went to a water spring. We drank some water and we had empty water bottles, so we fled them and left”. (02:19)

(02:25) “We stayed there for one night and as the sun was going down. I walked towards the mountain until 10:30 the next morning”. (02:48)

Daood Salem, Yazidi survivor, (male, Arabic)
(04:28) “I lost whole my family, 14 people. I was not harmed, but i lost all of my family, I do not know where they might be. Some of my siblings were taken to Mosul, others were taken to Afar, and some were taken to Syria. I do not know what is going to happen to them, I am living in Zakho now with some relatives. My family is about 45-50 people and I lost most of them. (05:01)

Frame 0004
Yazidi Author Burns his Books in Protest
By rsoufi
16 Sep 2014

September 16, 2014
Shekhan, Iraq

Yazidi author and Chairman of the Union Kurdish Writers, Bir Kheder Suleiman, burns his books as an act of solidarity with the thousands of Yazidis slaughtered by the Islamic State. The writer took hundreds of books from his library, including nine which he had written himself, to a makeshift refugee camp in Zewitah, north of Dohuk. Here he piled them up before setting fire to them.
Speaking in his hometown of Shekan, south east of Dohuk, where he preserved a few of his books, Bir Kheder Suleiman says that although he felt bad for setting his books on fire, he thinks this is the best way to show his culture being destroyed.


Bir Kheder Suleiman, (male, Kurdish):
(06:12) "We sensed the danger. We demanded things from the authorities and their response to our demand was just to peel this onion. When the first attack happened in our area, we informed the authorities, but they did not care. Then there was a second attack and a third. We though they might make their move at the perfect time to protect us and to end this tragedy. But it got to this point and nobody responded to our demands. Our situation is similar to an onion, you can keep peeling until nothing is left". (06:52)

Bir Kheder Suleiman, (Arabic):
(07:14) "I tried to express what is happening around us, the tragic situation. Was I able to deliver my message? Do my pen and writings work under the threat of ISIS? At least I am relieved that I can express how I feel and what I think. I learnt so much when I burnt my most precious possessions and the output of my brain". (08:01)

(08:40)"This room used to be my library. I started filling it with books in the 1970's, while I was still a university student. Whenever we used to hear there is a new book release, as poor as we used to be, we used to cut on food in order to save money and buy the new book". (09:31)

(09:49)"It is a message of objection against all the countries that created ISIS, supported it and gathered those inhumane people with no conscience to come slay children, kill the elderly, kidnap women and treat them as if we were in the pre-Islamic era. (10:22)

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No ‘Back to School’ for Students in I...
By rsoufi
14 Sep 2014

September 14, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

The huge influx of refugees to Dohuk means that the school year has not been able to begin at the usual time. Refugees from Sinjar and all over norther Iraq have come to the Kurdish region for safety from the marauding ISIS fighters. The huge numbers mean that many are being housed in almost all of the school buildings in Dohuk and so students are not able to start their school year. The local council is trying to build camps for the refugees so that they can be transferred out of the schools and the students can resume their studies.


Sound Bite 1: Kulthoom Mohamad Youness, refugee (Woman, Arabic):

Interviewer: Can you tell us about your situation here in the schools as refugees?
Kulthoom Mohamad Youness: “Our situation is not good. We are three families in one room, 27 people. We are not comfortable, we do not have a place to sleep and there is very little food. We want to leave this place and go to a better one, and maybe to put our children is schools to study. A whole year without school, and so their future is going to waste; it is unacceptable. We want to move to a better place, and for each family to get a place, because to have three families in one place is not reasonable.”

Interviewer: Do you think your children's future is going to waste?
“Yes they are not going to school anymore and their future is lost. All I want is to move to somewhere better, or to get back to our homes, and be comfortable.”

Interviewer: Do you have any hope that you will go back?
“Yes we do have hope and that we will go back home, and everything will go back to the way it was.”

Sound Bite 2: Ali Mohsen, refugee (Man, Arabic):

Interviewer: Since you are staying here at the schools, do you think that affected the children of the area?
Ali Mohsen: “The issue is not in our hands, we do not want to influence them, but the situation that we are in is causing us to affect them. There are no houses to rent and it is very expensive. There is no governmental control the rents; it is very expensive. We do not wish to affect the students; it is against our will, but what can we do?”

Interviewer: Why did you come to the schools?
“There is no place else to go, there are no houses, and if we found a place it is too expensive. If a person wants to pay rent he will no longer have money for food. Here they control everything except for the rent. They do not have control over the rent rate.”

Interviewer: Do you thinking postponing the beginning of the school years affects the children?
“Of course it affects the children, but we have no place else to go, there is no place for us to go.”

Sound Bite 3: Saddik Sherro, official representative of the directorate of Education in Dohuk (Man, Arabic):

Interviewer: What is the situation of the schools after the flood of refugees?
Saddik Sherro: “After the mass evacuation of the refugees from the areas of conflict and the huge numbers that came to Dohuk, it is only normal that we should open the doors of the schools to take the refugees in, after the municipality of Dohuk decided to allow the refugees in the schools. The school year has started, and the question we are facing is how are we going to arrange the classes now the school year has begun.”

“This is a very difficult problem, all we can do is to try and save what can be saved, so we started with the important years, the sixth grade, and the ninth grade. We delayed the commencement of the sixth grade till the 21st of September and the sixth grade till the 13th, we prepared the examination halls, and that is what we were able to control. Concerning school attendance, we have almost a million student who need classes, school activities, laboratories, and many other things that we cannot provide because our schools are full.”

“We are depending on the local government of Dohuk and the promises they gave us, that in October, they will vacate the school and they will transfer the refugees to the camps they are building for them. There are around 15 camps in different areas.”

“The schools will be vacated in stages, because of the camp that was built in the area of Khanaeq, we were able to vacate two schools and almost 1000 families were transferred to the camp.”

“It is not under the control of the directorate of education, we cannot kick people out of the schools. We have to help them and provide them with what they need. Of course it is not only the problem of the education directorate, there are also health problems, social problems, economical problems. You would definitely expect a lot of diseases to spread among the families due to the lack of medical care and the troubles they went through to get here. There is also the problem of preparing food, using the toilets, and insecticides, so the schools are becoming unsanitary and unhealthy places. We made the decision that as soon as we vacate the schools, we have to establish committees to sanitize and clean the schools. This process might take up to ten days, according to the situation of every school.”

Interviewer: How many schools are being used as shelters for the refugees?
“646 schools, as in school buildings. Here in the province of Dohuk, we have almost a 1570 schools, but as school buildings, we have almost 670. 646 schools are full with over 500 families, almost 1000 people in each school. This problem concerning schools is only here in Dohuk. In the provinces of al-Suleimaniya and Erbil, the classes have started normally and nobody there has the authority to delay the start of the school year.” “Education is very important and we hope that within one month, those camps will be ready and we can vacate the schools, so we can do our jobs.”

Sound Bite 4: Zarkar Soufi, student (Man, Kurdish):

“The schools are still not open because of the refugees who came from Sinjar, and are staying at the schools, which has a huge effect on us as students. We do not know if school is going to start any time soon, we ask the authorities to fix the situation as quickly as possible.”

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Reaction to Obama's Speech from Iraqi...
By rsoufi
11 Sep 2014

September 11, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Iraqi citizens react to Barak Obama's speech this morning about the USA's offensive strategy towards ISIS. The President stated that the military would continues its air strikes, but that no troops would be deployed on the ground.


Adel Khedr Mansour:
"We welcome the speech of Obama and all the people who are friendly to different ethnicities, those who attack ISIS, the enemies of God and the enemies of humanity. We ask the NATO and the American forces to continue in this way, and to attack them more and increase the number of strikes, because ISIS do not fear people, do not fear anything, they only fear the American attacks”.

Idriss Berjes: “We welcome this alliance that was formed between American and many other countries, and we want them to keep attacking them [ISIS], because throughout the last period, the attacks were not enough. However, we wish them to increase the number of attacks, because it has a huge effect on ISIS”.

Ahmed Habbo:
“We demand an increase in the attacks, and support for the Peshmerga because they are the only force that is standing in the way of ISIS and Diala, and the Sinjar Mountain. So we ask the American government to support the Peshmerga”.

Hussein Rasho:
“ISIS is a danger to America, Germany, and humanity. There is nothing more dangerous than ISIS. We demand stronger and fiercer air strikes. They should attack them day and night, and we ask the American resident to be faster in action. And, if there is a possibility, to release the prisoners, the women and the children that ISIS abducted. They kill people everyday. There is nothing left that they have not done”.

Khaled Rasho:
“We welcome the American air strikes against ISIS. The previous attacks were appreciated but we want more. We want the American armed forces to come to their territories on the ground and attack them. Our women and children haven been taken by ISIS, and if America does not come as soon as possible and destroy ISIS, they will kill everyone”.

Khaled Hajji Hindo:
“Considering the terror we are witnessing in Iraq, the strikes should have been much stronger. Concerning Obama’s speech and how they will not send military ground forces, I believe this is a mistake. We want them to send ground forces, because we no longer trust the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi forces were always in Sinjar, but they did not do anything to help us. Long before we fled from Sinjar, those forces were there. Why were we attacked in Sinjar? It’s because the Iraqi forces are very weak. We want American ground forces or International protection forces, especially for protecting the minorities in Iraq”.

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Increased Demand for Military Equipme...
By rsoufi
10 Sep 2014

September 9, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

The demand for military equipment in Kurdish Iraq has grown enormously since the rise of ISIS. Volunteers, policemen and the Peshmerga are all customers for salesman Sadik Mohamad, who is thinking of expanding his business to meet the rising demands.

SOUNDBITE 1: Sadik Mohamad, Shopkeeper (man, Kurdish)
"People are coming to our shops frequently to buy military uniforms. There is a huge surge in the market. We are selling ammunition holders, gun holders, uniforms, boots and many other types of military equipment. The prices of those equipments have increased recently. Most buyers are volunteers, Peshmerga fighters, and policemen. I have been in this business for over 10 years. and this year is the best concerning sales. I am intending to expand my business and to import merchandise from China. Many times we sell for a cheque, we do not take cash immediately. and now I have about 5-6 million worth of checks. Most of the brands that we sell are traditional, so they are not very resistant, we have original brands but they are very expensive, so people do not tend to buy them.
Our customers are of all ages, and we hope to open local factories to produce those needs so we can improve the quality.
My wishes are for the situation to improve and for ISIS to be defeated.
The movement in the market is good for our field of work compared to the others, who are suffering because of the situation."

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Yazidi Tailoring for Women
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.


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?

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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Yazidi Man Survives ISIS Massacre in ...
By rsoufi
09 Sep 2014

September 8, 2014
Dohuk, Iraq

Barzan Barjas, is a 28 years old citizen of Tel Banat village in Sinjar who escaped ISIS after being captured and witnessing the massacre of his fellow Yazidis. He now lives in Khanki community, 20 Kilometers in the west of Dohuk.

Interview transcription:

Interviewer: How were you able to escape ISIS?
Barzan: "We were under siege in the mountain of Sinjar, I tried to sneak into our village, which is very close to the mountain, to get bread for the children. When I entered the village, a few ISIS men caught me, three of them were armed; one had explosives, and the other two had rifles. They were driving a pick up car, I was able to identify two of the ISIS men, because they were originally from the area. The were lenient with me in the beginning and told me they were looking for weapons inside the village. They asked about the location of the Yazidi citizens, so I told them that many Yazidis are in the mountain near the village. When we go closer to the mountain, there were dozens of cars of Yazidi refugees parked there. They asked me about the owners of the cars and when I told them that they were in the mountains, we suddenly saw an armed group of Yazidis coming our way. They asked if everyone had weapons, so I answered them: yes. The ISIS men left me, and tried to escape the armed Yazidi men, they did not want to get into a conflict with them, their number exceeded the number of the ISIS members, which were only three. One of the armed ISIS men, spoke to the Yazidis, told them that they will not attack them and they are willing to help them". (01:00)

Interviewer: You spoke about a massacre of Yazidis by ISIS members, can you tell us about the massacre?
(01:18) Barzan: "The massacre happened in the area of Zaleela, some of my relatives were victims of the massacre, and my uncle was among them. When some Yazidis tried to escape to the mountain, I was there. I tried to help some of my relatives to get to the mountain of Sinjar before ISIS reaches the area, and when I tried to go back again to help the rest, I saw a massacre of 68 Yazidis by ISIS, and a pile of corpses was there". (02:09)

Is it true that ISIS took over the properties of the civilians?
(02:13)"ISIS took over the properties of the Yazidis, such as cars, sheep, goats. And about four days ago, we heard that ISIS took over some of our relatives cars and they placed explosives in our homes in Tel Banat so we will never be able to return. (03:12)

What did you feel when you saw armed ISIS members, and they you saw the massacre they did?
(03:52) "Honestly, when ISIS abducted me, I did not expect to remain alive. I saw many videos before of the executions they did, I was so scared, thank God I am still alive".

Is there any hope for this fear to end?
(04:25) "Yes I have hope to return to our area, but this might take months".

How many people killed by ISIS have you witnessed?
(04:27) "I saw in Zaleela, 67 Yazidis being killed by ISIS, in the first day when we were escaping. I witnessed so many corpses on the side of the roads, there was a bad smell coming from the dead bodies. My aunt's family is held hostage with ISIS, they were not able to escape because they had old people with them. I also heard that ISIS transferred over 400 imprisoned Yazidi from Tel Banat to a village named Kujo in Sinjar". (05:12)

How many of your relatives does ISIS hold captive?
(05:18) "Over 10 of my relatives are with ISIS, and over 400 others from surrounding villages. (05:28)

After everything that has happened, do you think you can return to your area?
(05:38) "Now there is no way we can defend the area, but we can get forces to defend it, I will return to my village, and may God have mercy on the souls of the ones who died". (05:52)

How does ISIS treat the Yazidis?
(05:55) "At the beginning they were treating everybody well, not only the Yazidis, With the Shiite and the Christians, they started off treating them well, but they changed their treatment towards them. It was considered a bad treatment towards the end". (06:13)

(06:14) "At the beginning they were saying that they do not want to harm the Yazidis, and they are only acting under the instruction of the Quran and the Shari'a law. They claimed that God is making it easy for them to conquer and take over areas, and they are willing to fulfill the people's needs. With that treatment, they fooled two Yazidi families from our village, because they believed their claims, who returned from the mountains to the village of Tel Banat. When the tow families arrived to the village, ISIS forced them to convert to Islam, the families agreed to that, out of fear. Then ISIS asked the two families to return to the mountain of Sinjar in order to inform the rest to return to the village. When the two families reached the mountain, they stayed there and never returned to the village". (07:23)

Does that mean some of the Yazidis converted to Islam under pressure from ISIS?
(07:26) "In our village, Tel Banat, approximately 50-60 Yazidis converted to Islam and started praying, I know many of them and one of them is actually my nephew, and after they converted to Islam, we lost touch with them". (07:47)

Are you the only surviver in your family?
(07:54) "No, thank God, all the members of my family survived, and we now live together in Khanki community in Dohuk". (08:05)

What do you want to say?
(08:10) "We thank any country that helps us and contributes in destroying ISIS, ISIS are criminals and they have caused so much harm for the Yazidis, the christians, the Kurds, and the Shiite. They attack everyone". (08:40)

السؤال ممكن تحدثنا كيف أنقذت نفسك من قبضة مسلحي داعش ؟ الجواب : دقيقة (00:20)

كنا في جبل سنجار محاصرين وحالت التسلل إلى قريتنا القريبة من الجبل لجلب الخبز لأطفالنا وعندما دخلت القرية ألقت مجموعة من تنظيم داش القبض علي داخل القرية وكان هم ثلاثة مسلحون أحدهم كان مدججا بالمواد التفجيرية وإثنين آخرين يحمل الأسلحة الرشاشة وكانا يقودان سيارة من نوع بيكاب مبينا أنه تعرف على إثنين من مسلحي داعش الذين إعتقلوه إذ كانوا من سكان المنقطة . وكانت في البداية تعاملهم معي مرناً وأبلغوني بأنهم يبحثون عن الأسلحة داخل القرية وسألوني عن مكان تواجد المواطنين الإيزيديين في الجبل القريب من القرية فقلت لهم أن العديد من الأيزيديين متواجدون في الجبل القريب من القرية ولما إقتربنا من الجبل كانت هناك العشرات من السيارات للإيزيديين الهاربين إلى جبل سنجار متوقفة وتوقفنا عند تلك السيارات وسألوني أين أصحاب هؤلاء السيارات قلت لهم قريبون وفجأة ظهر عدد من الإيزيديين المتواجدين في الجبل وهم مسلحون وسألني مرة أخرى هل الجميع يمتلكون السلاح فقلت لهم نعم فتركوني مسلحوا داعش وحالوا الإبتعاد عن المسلحين الإيزيديين خشية من الإصطدام معهم الذين كان عددهم يفوق عدد مفرزة داعش المؤلفة من ثلاثة مسلحين. ومن ثم عاد مسلحو داعش أنفسهم مرة أخرى وتوقفوا بالقرب من الإيزيديين المسلحين الذين زاد عددهم بعد ذلك ، وخاطبهم أحد عناصر داعش المسلحين الإيزيديين بأنهم متواجدون في المنطقة وأنهم لا يعتدون عليهم وأنهم مستعدون لتلقي أية شكوى لمساعدة الإيزيديين " (01:00) دقيقة . أنت تحدثت عن وقوع مذبحة للإيزيديين على أيدي مسلحي داعش هل يمكنكم التحدث إلينا عن هذه المذبحة؟ دقيقة (01:18) الجواب : المذبحة وقعت في منظقة زليلية وكانت عدد من أقربائنا ضمن ضحاياها بينهم عمي ، المذبحة وقعت عندما حاول بعض الإيزيديين الهرب بإتجاه الجبل كنت هناك حاولت إنقاذ بعض أقربائي إلى جبل سنجار قبل وصول مسلحي داعش بوقت قصير وعندما حاولت العودة مرة أخرى إلى تلك المنطقة بنصف ساعة بهدف مساعدة الآخرين وإيصالهم إلى الجبل شاهدت في قرية زليلية مذبحة نفذها داعش بقتل 68 شخص إيزيدي خلال لحظات وشاهدت كومة من جثث الأطفال والنساء والرجال .(02:09) السؤال، هل صحيح أن داعش أستولت على ممتلكات المدنيين ؟ الجواب (02:13) داعش إستولت على ممتلكات الإيزيديين كالسيارات والأغنام والمواشي وقبل أربعة أيام تلقينا خبر أن داعش أخذت عدد من سيارات أقربائنا كما أنهم قاموا بتثبيت المواد المتفجرة على منازلنا في قرية تل بنات حتى لا نتمكن العودة إليها (03:12) السؤال ،بماذا شعرت عندما رأيت مسلحي داعش ومن ثم رأيت المذبحة ؟ الجواب (03:52) بصراحة عندما إعتقلت من قبل داعش لم أكن أتوقع العيش مرة ثانية كوني رأيت العديد من مقاطع الفيديو للعمليات التي كانو ينفذوها بصراحة كنت خائفا الحمد لله الذي نجاني السؤال ، هل لديك أمل بإتهاء هذا الخوف ؟ الجواب (04:14) إنشاء الله لدي أمل بالعودة إلى منطقتنا لكنه قد يطول هذه المحنة لأشهر حتى نعود(04:25) السؤال ،كم عدد القتلى المدنيين على أيدي داعش الذين رأيتهم بنفسك . ؟ الجواب (04:27) داعش شاهدت في قرية زليلية 67 إيزيديا قتلوا على أيدي داعش ،في اليوم الأول من هروبنا من القرية شاهدت العديد من جثث القتلى على أطراف الشوارع وأن تلك الجثث تفسخت و تفوح منها رائحة كريهة ،كما أن عائلة خالتي محتجزة لدى داعش حاليا وأنهم لم يتمكنوا إنقاذ أنفسهم من قبضة داعش لأنه كان معهم أشخاص كبار السن ولم يتممكن من الهرب وتلقيت خبرا أن داعش نقل أكثر من 400 إيزيدي محتجز لديهم من قريتنا تل بنات إلى قرية تسمى كوجو التي هي أيضا في منطقة سنجار. (05:12) السؤال ،كم عدد أقربائك المحتجزين لدى داعش .؟ الجواب (05:18) أكثر من 10 أشخاص من أقربائي الآن هم في قبضة داعش كما أن أكثر من 400 أخرين من القرى المحيطة والقريبة من قريتنا هم محجوزون الآن لدى داعش (05:28) السؤال ، بعد ماحدث هل تعتقد أنه بإمكانك العودة إلى منطقتك ؟ الجواب (05:38) الآن لايوجد مكان للدفاع عن المنطقة وإنشاء الله إذا يتوفر الأمن سأعود إلى منطقتي والله يرحم من الموتى وأن يحفظ من تبقى منهم .(05:52) السؤال ،كيف رأيت تعامل داعش مع الإيزيديين ؟ الجواب (05:55) تعاملهم كان سياسيا في البداية كانت جيدة مع جميع الناس وليس الإيزديديين فقط وإنما مع الشيعة والمسيحيين تعاملهم في البداية جيدة لكنها في النهاية سيئة(06:13) السؤال كيف ؟ الجواب (06:14) في البداية كان يقولون أنهم لا يسيئون للإيزيديين وأنهم يطبقون كتاب الله وسنة رسوله وكان يروجون أن الله يسهل أمامهم عمليات فتح المناطق التي يهاجمونها وأنهم مستعدون لتلبية حاجات الناس وبهذا التعامل خدعت عائلتان إيزيديتان من قريتنا عندما صدقت إدعاءات داعش عادوا من الجبل إلى بيوتهم في قرية تل بنات وعندما رجعت العائلتين إلى بيوتها قام داعش بإجبارهم للدخول إلى الديانة الإسلامية و وافقت العائلتين على ذلك خشية على أرواحها ومن ثم طلب العائلتين من داعش بالعودة إلى جبل سنجار بحجة إبلاغ الأشخاص الباقين في الجبل للعودة إلى قريتهم وعندما وصلوا إلى الجبل لم يعودوا إلى قريتهم مرة أخرى وبقوا في الجبل .(07:23) السؤال ، يعني أن بعض الإيزيدين دخلوا إلى الدين الإسلامي بضغط من داعش ؟ الجواب (07:26) في قريتنا (تل بنات) تقريبا (50 ــ 60) شخص دخلوا الإسلام ومارسوا الصلاة وأنا أعرف عددا منهم وبينهم أيضا أبن أختي وبعد إشهار إسلامهم لحد الآن لا نعرف شيئاً عن مصيرهم (07:47) السؤال، هل أنت الوحيد الذي نجى من أسرتك ؟ الجواب (07:54) لا الحمد لله تمكنت جميع أفراد أسرتي من النجاة والآن نعيش معا في مجمع (خانكي) بدهوك (08:05) السؤال ، ماذا تناشد ؟ الجواب (08:10) نحن نشكر أي دولة تساعدنا وتساهم في تدمير تنظيم داعش ليس لما تسبب به داعش إتجاه الإيزيديين وإنما مارس داعش جرائم مماثلة ضد المسيحيين والكرد والشيعة إذ أنها تعادي كافة البشر (08:40)

مقطع (آخر بارزان برجس يتحدث وهو في السيارة ) ويقول : كان في الجبل لدينا كمية قليلة جدا من حبوب القمح كنا نغليه و نطعمه الأطفال وأما فلم أكله خشية من أن ينفذ ومضيت ثلاثة أيام في الجبل بأكل رمانة فقط ..