Christian Child Who Fled ISIS Returns Home and Discovers Ashes

ICC Note:

In a small village near Qaraqosh, a young boy named Noeh and his family share how they returned to their home after ISIS left and found only ashes. Noeh shares how he found that all of his toys were destroyed, a tragic reminder of his lost childhood Many families who have returned to the area have found that the same problems which contributed to the rise of ISIS still exist, the most serious problem being that the absence of law leaves them unprotected and treated liked second class citizens. How this will impact future generations such as Noeh has left many families unsure of how to proceed with rebuilding their lives. 

 

01/22/2018 Iraq (Fox News) –   Young Noeh and his family were forced to flee their village in Northern Iraq over three years ago when ISIS invaded and occupied the region. When they finally returned this summer, his family’s home was burned to the ground along with most of his possessions.

“I only found these marbles,” Noeh , 12, said in an interview with Fox News through a translator while clutching a plastic bag with dozens of marbles, many of which were melted or fused together from the heat of the fire that ravaged his family’s home.

“I started collecting them from the ground, one by one. All my toys were destroyed. These were all I could find.”

Like many other Christian and Yazidi families, Noeh and the rest of his family are now working to rebuild their lives, after returning in August.

They are happy to be safe, even if uncertain about the future.

It was in the summer of 2014 that Noeh and his family – five siblings along with his two parents – were forced to flee their home in the Chaldean-Assyrian-Christian village of Karemles as ISIS militants started advancing towards this small town about 18 miles west of Mosul.

“It was normal summer night,” Noeh said. “I was sleeping and our parents woke us up. They told us we had to go because ISIS was coming.”

“We knew they were coming for us,” he said.

It took Noeh and his family over 24 hours just to travel 40 miles to the town of Erbil, due to the mass exodus of villagers. On a normal day, the trip from their village to the city is only 60 minutes. But for Noeh’s family, the journey proved to be perilous.

“It was very difficult,” Noeh’s father Haitam told Fox News, also through a translator. “I was scared for my family.”

“I put them in the car and we left, but everyone else left at the same time. It was a bad situation. Sandstorms made [it] hard to see and breathe.”

Noeh also recalls that difficult journey.

“It was scary. Our own soldiers were shooting over our heads.”

[Full Story]

 

For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 

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