A Voice from the Older Generation
This Iraqi grandma traveled with her family to Czechia in February 2016. We had the unique opportunity to hear a small part of her story.
What was it like when ISIS came?
“Life changed drastically because ISIS came and they didn’t want any Christian presence in the area, so they were killing, harassing, and hurting the Christians. And they obviously didn’t want us. They told us, either we surrender to what they wanted us to be, or we leave.
They killed my brother. He was an expert and director of a petroleum company, and ISIS killed him.
We left our hometown for Erbil, where it was equally bad and we were humiliated. Then we went to Baghdad, and I thought it was going to be better. I went to stay with my other children who live there, but even that was not safe enough, so then we went to Beirut, and then they brought us here to the Czech Republic.”
Do you miss home?
“Yes, but being here now is better. At least we have peace of mind.”
Photos and story by Talitha Brauer
In December 2015 I received a call from documentary filmmaker Tamara Park, asking me to accompany her on a three week trek from north to south, starting in Finland and ending in Greece. We met and interviewed Syrian and Iraqi refugees who had fled their homes in hopes of beginning a new life in Europe.
Part 5 of From North to South, a photo essay account of their stories.