Category Archives: Iraq (Kurdistan)

How this young Yazidi is bringing hope to IS victims

Published by Al-Monitor on July 6, 2016.  AMSTERDAM — Pari Ibrahim, 27, was a regular law student in the Netherlands who had a job in a library until she received a phone call at 5 a.m. in August 2014 that … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan)

The silent grief of the Yezidi women

Written for MO* in November, 2015 (also translated in Dutch and French). Over the past year thousands of Jezidi women were made a slave and raped by Islamic State (IS) fighters. Some of them got away. They returned to Northern Iraq: ill, … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan)

De vrouwenhaat vlucht mee

Geschreven voor Trouw en De Tijd in januari, 2016. Je kunt het Midden-Oosten niet naar Europa halen zonder de vrouwenhaat en het seksueel geweld erbij te importeren. Kun je dat nog zeggen, vraagt Brenda Stoter zich af, zonder je aan … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Egypt, Iraq (Kurdistan), Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Syria

Balkanroute: Mee met de vluchtelingentrein

Geschreven voor De Tijd in november, 2015 Iedere dag reizen duizenden vluchtelingen met de trein door de Balkan, op weg naar een beter leven in West-Europa. Ze zijn uitgeput, want voor slapen of douchen is geen tijd. Overal staan sporttassen … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria

Het stille leed van de Yezidi-vrouwen

‘Niemand hier heeft haar man nog. We zijn helemaal alleen’ DUHOK– Duizenden Yezidi-vrouwen werden het afgelopen jaar door Islamitische Staat (IS) tot slaaf gemaakt en verkracht. Een deel wist te ontsnappen. Zij keerden terug naar Noord-Irak: ziek, gebroken en ernstig … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan) ,

After mass rape by the Islamic State, Yazidi women still struggle to break the silence

Written for Al-Monitor on September 9, 2015 DAHUK, Iraq — The first man Aniya was forced to marry was an Islamic State militant called Abu Safouan. She was 41 and he was 22, but still he bought her and her 3-year-old daughter … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria

Kurdish fighters struggle to pay bills

Written for Al-Monitor on August 24, 2015 ERBIL, Iraq — When Hemin Zangana was sent to the front line in August 2014, he and his fellow peshmerga fighters were determined to recapture the Mosul Dam from the Islamic State. They told each … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan)

Iraqi children traumatized by IS violence

Written for Al-Monitor on August 16, 2015 ERBIL, Iraq — Mohammed was 5 years old when August 16, 2015his little brother was shot dead before his eyes. This happened in June 2014 when Islamic State (IS) militants stormed the city of … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria

Terrorists turn month of peace into time for war

Written for Al-Monitor on July 14, 2015 For most Muslims around the world, the month of Ramadan marks a period of fasting, abstinence and contemplation. Besides a month for spirituality and reflection, Ramadan is also a month in which extra attention is … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria

Deel 1: Vrouwen in het kalifaat ‘Mama, ik ga’

Geschreven voor De Groene Amsterdammer (november 2014) Naar schatting 35 tot 50 jonge Nederlandse vrouwen zijn vertrokken naar het kalifaat van Islamitische Staat. Moeder Monique vond vorige week dochter Aïcha terug aan de Turks-Syrische grens. ‘Ik had niet verwacht dat … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, European ISIS fighters, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria , ,

Radicalized Western mothers lead children into Islamic State

Written for Al-Monitor on April, 13, 2015 AMSTERDAM — For Aysha and Luca Opdam’s father, it is still hard to accept that his children, born and raised in the Netherlands, are now living in Syria. In a letter, he describes how his ex-wife … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, European ISIS fighters, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria ,

‘Christenen zijn nergens meer veilig’

Geschreven voor De Tijd op 10 maart, 2015 AMMAN- Door de opmars van Islamitische Staat vluchten christenen massaal uit Irak. In de Jordaanse hoofdstad Amman worden ze in kerken opgevangen, maar ook daar willen ze weg. ‘Er is geen plek … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan), Jordan ,

European women convert, join IS

Written for Al Monitor on October 29, 2014 AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Vanessa, 19, was always a rebellious and spontaneous teen. Someone who liked being the center of attention and didn’t let anybody tell her what to do. After she became a … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, European ISIS fighters, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria

Iraqi refugees in despair in Jordan long for Saddam era

Written for Al Monitor on June 26, 2014 AMMAN, Jordan — In a small cafe in Amman, Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi customers are smoking the hookah and drinking coffee. They enjoy a quiet evening watching the World Cup on a large TV screen. King … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, Iraq (Kurdistan)

European women find appeal in Syrian jihad

Written for Al Monitor on June 6, 2014 AMSTERDAM — Khadija (not her real name) enjoyed a quiet life in the Netherlands, the country she grew up in. She had a place to stay and the opportunity to study.​ However, over the last … Continue reading

Articles Middle East, European ISIS fighters, Iraq (Kurdistan), Syria ,