A 14-year-old girl who was captured by Islamic State - also known as ISIS - militants and sold as a concubine told her story in a heartbreaking Washington Post article yesterday. The girl, who goes by the pseudonym “Narin” in the article, managed to break out of her ISIS cell using a meat cleaver and is now in relative safety.
Narin’s troubles started on August 3, when she and her entire village were told that ISIS fighters were coming to their town of Tel Uzer. Narin, a Yazidi, knew ISIS viewed her and her kin as heretics, so they fled Tel Uzer. Narin and her family were hoping to reach Mount Sinjar, a place where thousands of other Yazidis were taking refuge. But before they could get there, they were surrounded by ISIS vehicles.
Here’s what happened next:
“The militants divided us by gender and age: One for young and capable men, another for girls and young women, and a third for older men and women. The jihadists stole cash and jewelry from this last group, and left them alone at the oasis. Then they placed the girls and women in trucks. As they drove us away, we heard gunshots. Later we learned that they were killing the young men, including my 19-year old brother, who had married just six months ago.”
That afternoon, Narin and other captive females were brought into a school and ordered by ISIS members to convert to Islam. All of the Yazidi women refused to do so. A few days later, the women were taken to an empty hall and detained for 20 days. They were only given food once per day during this time. One day, ISIS guards came and divided the group into married and unmarried women. It was then that Narin and a friend were told they were being given to ISIS members as concubines.
Narin was given to a 50-year-old man named Abu Ahmed, and her friend, Shayma, was given to a man named Abu Hussein:
“Abu Ahmed, Abu Hussein and an aide lived in a Fallujah house that looked like a palace. Abu Ahmed kept telling me to convert, which I ignored. He tried to rape me several times, but I did not allow him to touch me in any sexual way. Instead, he cursed me and beat me every day, punching and kicking me. He fed me only one meal per day. Shayma and I began to discuss killing ourselves.”
After almost a week in captivity, the girls were left in the house alone. Abu Ahmed was away on business, and Abu Hussein had gone to a local mosque for evening prayers. The girls managed to break the lock on their cell using a meat cleaver, and fled the palace dressed in niqab – the muslim garment that covers a woman’s entire body and face except for her eyes.
The girls had been given cell phones by their ISIS captors. They were supposed to use the phones to tell family members of the torture being done to them, but the girls used them to call a family friend instead. The friend, a Sunni muslim, picked them up and gave them a place to sleep for the night. The next day, they began an anxiety-wracked journey home.
The girls were given multiple fake ID’s to help them pass through checkpoints on the trip. After a few close calls with authorities, the girls boarded a plane and were reunited with what was left of their families.
“After so much fear for so many days, hugging my dad again was the best moment of my life. He said he had cried for me every day since I disappeared. That evening, we went to Khanke, where my mother was staying with her relatives. We hugged and kept crying until then I fainted. My month-long ordeal was over, and I felt reborn.”
Narin’s troubles are not over, though. Her brother was killed by ISIS fighters and her sister-in-law is still in ISIS captivity. She says she yearns to leave Iraq, a country her people have called home for thousands of years.
“I can never again set foot in our little village, even if it’s freed from Islamic State, because the memory of my brother who died nearby would haunt me too much. I still have nightmares and swoon several times a day – when I remember what I saw or imagine what would have happened if Shayma and I hadn’t escaped.
What can I do? I want to leave this country altogether. This country is no place for me anymore. I want to go to a place where I might be able to start over, if that is even possible."
Source: Washington Post