Majid and Saeed
Majid and Saeed, two young men recently displaced from Mosul long to return home, but not to the lives they lived under ISIL.
“I was a high school student and Saeed was an engineer. There are no jobs anymore. We still went to school, but everything had changed. You know how usually they say ‘one apple plus one apple is two apples’? With ISIL it was one bullet plus two bullets, or one bomb plus two bombs. This is what they were teaching.
ISIL didn’t just count bullets, they used them too. They killed my uncle—one shot through the forehead. He was lucky. They used to beat people with bamboo sticks or wires. On Fridays, ISIL would go to a busy place and block each end of the street. That’s where they would hold the public executions or stonings, and everyone blockaded in the street would be forced to watch.
Mosul used to be a mosaic of people, Sunnis, Shias, Orthodox, Yazidis—it didn’t matter. Now we are broken fragments again, not part of a whole.”