Altair Guimarães

Life In The Camp For Yazidi Refugees



In August 2014, Shammo Murad was one of over 400,000 Yazidis who fled as Islamic State seized the Iraqi city of Sinjar. Thousands immigrated into the nearby mountains, seeking refuge in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq. 

Murad has helped create literacy courses for both, children and the elderly, and both, men and women. "Because, as you know, the illiterate one is like being at a wedding but not being able to hear the band or the singer," Murad said. "The illiterate person is dumb and deaf."

The refugees worry about the girls who were captured by the Islamic State and constantly talk about ways to rescue them. "Every human being in Iraq should know those girls and children are not just the honor of Yazidis or Kurds," Murad said. "They are the honor of anyone who has a conscience."

He, along with the Yazidi refugees, are doing all they can to pick up the pieces of a shattered community.

"My wish is for us, the Yazidis, to go back to our homeland. To our possessions and work," Murad said. "Without hatred and killing to live peace and safety in our homes."

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Background image: Feryal Aldahash looks down on her third daughter Valgerour Halla at their home in Reykjavik, Iceland. January 8 2017. | Thomson Reuters Foundation/Filippo Brachetti