An English Teacher’s Escape from ISIS
After the Islamic State overruns his hometown, a militiaman turned educator makes a harrowing decision to bring his family to freedom.
Photos by Mohammed Abdullah
As a nine-year-old boy, Ali and his ten-year-old brother, Ahmed, herded the family’s sheep away from their village on the endless, barren plains between Kirkuk and Tikrit in northern Iraq. The tenth child out of fifteen siblings, Ali would see the Hamrin Mountains in the distance and think of them as the end of the world.
Some twenty years later, his village overtaken by ISIS, Ali climbed those very mountains, carrying his six-month-old daughter in his arms, desperate to get back to freedom.
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