“We don’t want them to take him. He’s the only son we have left now.”
Surrounding them both in a semi-circle sat his mother, several of his aunts, and other female relatives. The large family arrived at the camp in August 2017 when it first opened, on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in Ninewa governorate. They have been living there ever since. The decision as to whether they can return home lies with men in their villages.
Khaled’s mother, Nawal*, explained: “In our village there was a meeting. They said our family can never come back. Others who had a Daeshi [family member who joined IS] have been allowed back. They had someone who supported them. We have no one. All our men are either dead, missing or in jail.”