IRAQ: WOMEN’S VOICES WITHIN
PublicationJan 10, 2019
Meet Mariam, Aida, Olivia, Sham and Baydaa, who have lived through unimaginable atrocities at the hands of ISIS and are willing to bear witness, tell their stories, and build new lives.
In March of 2015, CHIME FOR CHANGE conducted a journalism and storytelling workshop in Erbil, Iraq for Yazidi and Christian refugees who had fled ISIS. Watch their documentary, “Women’s Voices Within” to learn more of the stories of these inspiring women:
• Mariam, 24: Nine days before Mariam’s wedding, ISIS crushed her dreams. She thought she’d lost everything – her wedding dress, books, home and church. But she’s still here, moving forward.
• Aida, 18: Two days before ISIS entered her town, Aida took her medical school exams. Then, she was told that the militants had broken into the school and burned everything. After arriving safely in Erbil, she retook the exam and earned a 95%. She risks her life to continue her studies.
• Olivia, 37: Olivia dreams of a time when she can live with pride and dignity in her homeland. Are she and other Yazidi women destined to suffer endless cycles of patriarchal oppression, or with hard work, can she fulfill her dreams?
• Sham, 24: In her community, Sham’s grand auntie is renowned for her courage in the face of disaster. After losing three children and her husband in a single night of conflict, she joined the men to defend their village and protect what remained of her family. She now takes in displaced people coming from the southern part of Sinjar Mountain and those who have escaped Daesh.
• Baydaa, 44: It took Baydaa two years to rebuild her family’s home. Each family member contributed money to help pick up the pieces. But the continued presence of ISIS threatens what little peace they’ve built.