“Being imprisoned in our homes was so demoralizing. ISIS was in control for two and a half years, and we couldn’t leave the house.”
“The only thing that kept me going was to think about what I’d do after ISIS left. I dreamed of creating a day care center and preschool for kids whose parents worked at the local hospital.”
Eman lived in east Mosul, Iraq, a community often described as a beautiful mosaic of minorities: Sunni Muslims, Christians, Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis, Shabaks, and more. It was an energetic, resilient, highly educated community.
It was my third visit to Iraq, but my first to Mosul. I wished I had seen the city before much of its beauty had been turned to rubble by ISIS. But despite the devastation, I saw clear signs of the city’s resilience–in young people like Eman.
Ten years earlier Eman had graduated college with a degree in fine arts. The kids’ center she created in the months after ISIS left east Mosul showed the clear mark of an artist: walls painted brightly and a creative, high quality curriculum.
Financial empowerment from the Preemptive Love Coalition, combined with her own resilient spirit, helped bring Eman’s dream to reality. With the early growth of the center, she’s already been joined by additional staff, and she envisions a future where more and more kids and staff will be able to benefit from the beauty and hope of the center.
As we were leaving I told Eman that I liked her brightly-colored t-shirt. “Under ISIS everything was black,” she said. “I’m done with all black!”
For her, it seems, pink is the color of hope.
In the six months since east Mosul was freed from ISIS, what was a ghost town under ISIS has again become a thriving community. Sadly, the western side of Mosul suffered longer and even more severe deprivation under ISIS than the east side, and it is only now being freed, neighborhood by neighborhood.
My friends at Preemptive Love are pre-positioned with food, water and medical supplies, ready to enter each neighborhood in west Mosul as soon as ISIS is forced out. Without this life-saving emergency response, desperate families will be forced to flee to refugee camps, where they’ll be separated from their homes, their neighbors and the lives they’ve built in the city they love.
But if we—through our friends at Preemptive Love—provide for the people of west Mosul now, so they can stay home, they’ll be positioned to move into a hopeful future, as Eman has done.
Please give now.