Children's stories from Iraq   Syria   Ukraine   Iran



…»Where do you come from?«
»From the wide world.«
»Where do you want to go?«
»Home.«
»Where is your home?«
»Where is my home? I do not know.«…


— Janusz Korczak: Little King Matty and the Desert Island





1

There has not yet been any reconciliation among the Sunnites, Shiites, Kurds and Arabs in Iraq
since the US led-invasion in 2003 and the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein.
Until the end of 2007, 4.7 million Iraqis were forced to flee from there homes, 2.7 million of them inside the country.
After IS - also called Daesh - proclaimed a caliphate in Iraq (and Syria) during the summer of 2014,
there is currently no further hope of a peaceful coexistence between the different religions and ethnicities
and especially religious minorities like the Yazidis are threatened with a genocide.
So far two million people (moderate Sunnis, Christians, Shiites, Yazidis) have fled the terrorist militia Daesh in Iraq and Syria;
approximately half of them into the relatively safe Autonomous Republic of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
At the end of December 2014, I spoke with and photographed a number of Iraqi children in a refugee camp in northern Iraq.
My thanks go to Ilyas Yanc and Khalid Tisani for their support of this project.
IS or ISIS is replaced in all the statements of the children by the term Daesh.
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2

When I visited a refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan in December 2014, the children, I had previously talked to,
mostly wanted two things:
First, to return to their home Sinjar and to meet up again with their former friends and relatives and secondly to attend a school.
The return to Sinjar is not yet possible due to security reasons, but the second wish has been fulfilled for many children
in the refugee camp.
In October 2016 I visited the same refugee camp again; a camp with more than 26,000 inhabitants.
My thanks go to Khalid Tisani and everyone in Iraqi/Kurdistan who supported me with this work.
IS or ISIS is replaced in all the statements of the children by the term Daesh.
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