“My dad, my brother, and my husband were all killed by ISIS.”
At fifteen she got married. At eighteen she was a widow, the mother of an infant, and caretaker for her widowed mother.
For two and a half years she’d lived under ISIS control in east Mosul, Iraq. When her community was freed from ISIS in November 2016, a new future opened up to her. But what kind of future awaited a traumatized and grieving teenage mother in a neighborhood wrecked by war?
Fortunately, my friends at Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC) saw beyond her external situation to the resilient spirit inside her. They provided funding for her to open a small cosmetics shop.
Bullet holes still marked the facades of nearby buildings. Crumbled concrete and twisted metal left by months of shelling was still being cleared away.
But on the May day on which I visited the cosmetics shop, the streets were filled with shoppers and business was booming.
After years of brutal oppression, the civilians of east Mosul were eager to return to the life they’d known before ISIS.
And a young shopkeeper—along with her mother and her child—were looking with hope toward the future.
Currently PLC and their local partners are helping men and women in Mosul establish bakeries and barber shops, pre-schools and medical clinics, grocery stores and vegetable stands, tea shops and falafel stands, pharmacies and office supply stores–and so much more.
And each person empowered brings light and life to their corner of the world.
The need is real, but so is the hope!