December 24, 2018
As heavily armed ISIL fighters poured into their village in 2014, Abu Jassim and his family had enough time to grab their identity cards, their pigeons and flee.
The 49-year-old father of three had farmed the lands around Yathreb, a governorate 90km north of Baghdad, all his life. Nothing prepared him or his neighbours for a life removed from all that was familiar. The family had hoped their displacement would only be temporary, but days became weeks as they travelled from one place to the next until, three months later, they finally found sanctuary in Ahsty camp, Sulaimaniyah.
And through all the hardships his family faced on the road, Abu Jassim managed to keep his birds alive, a comforting reminder of home before they took flight.
“When we fled, I put my eight pigeons in a small cage and carried them with us throughout our displacement journey,” he recalls. “I couldn’t leave them behind, I loved them too much.”
December 22, 2018
20 Years On: Achievements in Policy Development, Data Collection, Research and Analysis of Internal Displacement
This article originally appeared on IDMC’s website. Reposted with permission.
As I write this final director’s letter of 2018, UN Member States have approved the Global Compact on Refugees after two years of intense negotiations, and a week after endorsing the Global Compact on Migration.
The compacts aim to improve conditions for refugees, migrants and states dealing with large movements of people. With 258 million international migrants and 68.5 million forcibly displaced people, including 25 million refugees, in the world today, the impact of these political commitments will be felt around the world. We look ahead to 2019 with enthusiasm when the real test will be putting these guidelines into action. Though not legally binding, it’s our hope that states can […]
December 20, 2018
“This t shirt saved my life,” Hannatu Yusuf confirms, clutching a tattered white shirt. “When I ran to escape Boko Haram, my chest was bare. All my children and I were barefoot, too. They had no clothes on either and it was very cold at that time. We were in the forest, sleeping on the ground. I found this shirt and put it on. It kept me safer.”
The family had to flee so suddenly, they didn’t even have time to get dressed as they sprang from slumber on that hot evening. While her family was lacking clothes, others had the opposite problem, removing shirts and pants so they could run to safety more quickly, she explains, so she was able to find something to wear.
Though covering her bare chest made her feel safer against Boko Haram, the armed group still captured her and her children.
December 17, 2018
“One by one, the achievements of a lifetime, all of it was gone. My Nikon D60 is gone. My Yashica, an original Japanese camera, and many other things I cherished are gone. This camera and an old video camera were supposed to be the last things to go but I couldn’t bring myself to sell them.”
Life was pretty good for the wedding photographer of south Mosul until mid-summer 2014, when a six-day ISIS offensive against the Iraqi Army resulted in the capture of the historic city on the banks of the Tigris river 400km north of Baghdad.