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The Golden Hour

Training First Responders in Mosul

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Mosul: After the Islamic State

After more than two years of occupation, and following a nine-month-long battle between the so-called Islamic State and Iraqi-led forces, the vibrant city of Mosul—Iraq’s second-largest city and capital of Nineveh Province—was liberated from the Islamic State in July 2017. Six months later, the Iraqi government declared victory over the terrorist organization, known worldwide for …

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Brutal Civil War in Syria Enters Ninth Year

Syria’s relentless civil war enters its ninth year this month, with fighting beginning to wane in what has become this century’s bloodiest, most brutal conflict. But as the violence ebbs, the humanitarian crisis left in its wake will only grow in the period ahead. The fighting, which has claimed an estimated 500,000 lives, has caused …

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Amani: An Inspiration to all Women

Amani, a 29-year old widow from Iraq and mother of four, poignantly describes the day she was forced into marriage at the age of 16 as “the death of the girl in me.” Amani remembers crying and shouting, protesting her parent’s decision about the arranged marriage—but her pleas fell on deaf ears. On her wedding …

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Dr. Sarmad Yahia: Building a Better Future for Iraqi Youth

Many young people in Iraq have never known peace and security. The 2003 Iraq war was followed by years of sectarian violence that erupted in heavy fighting between the Iraqi military and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) in late 2013. Today, roughly 3 million Iraqis remain internally displaced due to ongoing conflicts, with more …

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May Majid: Unbroken Spirit

“We all have something inside us that will never be the same again,” says May Majid of living through the Iraq War. This theme would weave its way through our conversation: remnants of things broken and lost, and the exhausting effort of constantly trying to piece it all back together, inside and out. “Almost every …

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‘This is my calling’

July 2018 marks one year since Iraqi forces and their allies retook the city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after three years of occupation. As many as 1 million people fled the city due to the conflict, but today 870,000 have already returned to their hometown. Hiba, Mental …

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Mobile Medical Teams Provide Vital Support for Jameel

Jameel Mohammed, aged 63 years, was forced to leave his home in Syria as a result of the war. The dire humanitarian situation inside the country is among the worst crises in recent history, and has forced some 5.6 million Syrians to seek refuge in neighboring countries. In Iraq alone, almost 250,000 Syrians are registered …

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Providing Much-Needed Care for Amina

A mother of five, 48-year-old Amina Yakoub is suffering from angina pectoris, joint pains, and diabetes. Amina is from Kobane City in the north of Syria. She left Kobane when fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and opposition forces broke out in the city. She first moved to Turkey for …

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Finding Independence through Livelihood

At only 25 years old, Hana’a* has already had to demonstrate immense strength and resilience to overcome hardship and insecurity amidst ongoing conflict and acute gender inequality in Iraq. She lives in Fallujah, located in western Iraq’s Anbar governorate. The city’s population suffered considerably under the Islamic State, which took control by force in 2014. …

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Building Leadership, One Stitch at a Time

As a self-taught seamstress and the loving caretaker of her deceased brothers’ children, 41-year-old Sawsan serves as a constant inspiration to those around her. Sawsan* grew up within a large family in Iraq, the daughter of an ambulance driver and a stay-at-home mother. She dropped out of school at the primary level and, at 20 …

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