Iraqi children have suffered horribly under the Islamic State’s (ISIS) theocratic rule. ARA News spoke with several child refugees in al-Hawl Camp, which is located in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah Governorate.
The children, having recently fled from Mosul, made a shared appeal: they want to go back to school.
When schools were open, they were forced to teach a jihadi curriculum which emphasized militarism and their Islamic Tafsir, a limited exegesis.
The children who reached al-Hawl Camp have beseeched the camp’s administrators to open a school for them. Those who spoke to ARA News desperately wanted to continue their education.
“We hope the camp’s administration will open a school for us so that we can continue our education until we can return home,” Khatab said. Raged, a 10-year-old girl from Mosul, told ARA News that she wanted to study and fill the gaps in her education.
“We escaped from ISIS. I came to the camp with my father and other family members. I want to go to school. They deprived from us, our right to education,” she said. Children are the most vulnerable group affected by war, as they lack most basic rights.
They are also in a state of continuous development and are often unable to comprehend the traumatic events that they are being exposed to. Even after the war, many health professionals believe that Iraqi and Syrian children will remain emotionally stunted.
Raged spoke primarily of her mother, who had to be left behind in Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate. “Daesh forced us to wear a black Islamic dress.
Many of us couldn’t be with our families anymore. My sick mother and my brother couldn’t come, so they were left behind,” she said. “Our children have lost their education for years due to the ISIS’ invasion,”
Hindi Ahmed, an older refugee, told ARA News. “We have lived among monsters. Here, in the al-Hawl Camp, we are looking forward to having some safety and a school for our children.”
by Siber Haji