QARAQOSH, IRAQ — When Islamic State captured the Christian-majority city of Qaraqosh, Iraq, Sana and her family were trapped in their home for almost three weeks. When they were discovered, Sana and her daughter were separated from Sana’s husband and two sons. Sana never saw them again. But Sana has not given up on God.
“We were sleeping and we heard a sound in the morning – the sound of people saying that Qaraqosh was theirs.”
It was August 2014 when Islamic state captured the Christian-majority city of Qaraqosh in Northern Iraq. Trapped in their home Sana and her family stayed in hiding for almost three weeks.
“We were all in one room. We wouldn’t leave one another. We would sit together. We prayer there, ate there, did everything there. We would even sit in the dark and use only a lighter, fearful that they would find us. It was scary. At night we heard them breaking down doors and we heard talking. And we expected them to enter our house at any time. We heard shelling and machine guns. And they knocked on our door at 11pm.”
When the family was found, they were told to leave the city because they were Christians. They were to go to a meeting point one morning and wait for a bus.
“We went there and all of them were wearing black. We were scared of them because they were all carrying weapons. We were sitting together and we were chatting like we always do. Later on they said: ‘No, the men and women should be separated.’ I got on the bus. I asked: ‘Please where are you taking my husband?’
“One of them put a gun to my head and said: ‘Shut up or I’ll shoot you in the head.’ So I sat down. They said that the men would follow in another bus. But that’s the last time I saw them.”
Even after the liberation of Qaraqosh, Sana heard no more about the whereabouts of her husband and two sons. She and her daughter Tania now live alone. But despite everything, Sana has kept hold of her faith in God.
“Our life is not easy. We are not good, not comfortable. We don’t have a man in the house: just me and my daughter. When people see us they ask why we are by ourselves. They are not used to women living alone. Praise God, my faith in God is so big. And I believe that they will come back. They will come back God willing. Praise be to God.”
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Source: Global News Alliance, Iraqi Christian Mother Separated from Family