The story of the escape and survival of a Christian family a few hours before the ISIS trial in Sinjar – Exclusive /Translated by Rashwan Issam Aldaqaq

The fate may provide the deliverance in rare cases. This time it happened with a Christian family that remained in Sinjar after the invasion by the militants of ISIL.

This family has lived in Sinjar for more than 20 years in love and good coexistence with other families from different shades of the Iraqi society, and were doing their works and functions in normal way.

The event which changed everything was the takeover of the town by the militants of ISIL and the subsequent tragedies where hundreds of the men executed and captives hundreds of the women. In addition, most of the population escaped either up to the mountain or to the death journey of starvation, thirst or down to the cities of Kurdistan region that crowded by the displaced people from the different areas controlled by the militants of ISIL.

Days of horror

One of the Christian families couldn’t escape during the night when the militants occupied the town of Sinjar, due to the lack of means of transport. The other factors which increased the difficulties of their escape were the presence of a disabled person and another paraplegic within this family.

The head of the family (M.S, 48 years old) talked about the 10 days of horror that prevailed with his family at his home in Sinjar after the occupation by the militants.

He said, we were the only family remaining in the area that we live in, and we knew of the presence of other Christian families because of similar circumstances, while more than 20 families managed to escape before the entering of the Islamic State militants.

The threat and the trial date

He added a few days later about 10 gunmen came to our house carrying a variety of weapons, including machine guns, pistols and swords. The militants asked us to convert to Islam and when we refused, one of them hit me and another one put the sword on the neck of my son. At the meantime one of the militants, seems he was their boss, asked them to stop beating and gave us a notice till the next day at noon to attend the trial session.

He said, the difficulties accumulated by the continuous bombardment of the area resulting in destroying many houses which caused fear and panic for us and increased our sense of the need to find a way to escape to the outside of Sinjar.

Steps on the road for safety

The head of the family continued his story and said: on the top of our fear and horror, we contacted on the same evening one of our friends which he provide us with two cars. He added, because of the risk and dangerous situation he wanted one million Iraqi dinars and we agreed. We provide him with the required amount of money that we have saved it by selling a piece of my wife gold some time before the invasion. Then on the next day at 7 am we started our dangerous journey. He added, at the first check point one of the militants asked for identities and we told him we have forgot them in the house. Then he asked for my name and said you are Christian (Nusrany), I told him that we have converted to Islam. Thus, we were frightened on the arrival at the check points of ISIL militants, but we were able to pass by the same way of telling about our conversion to Islam.

He added, after we crossed the last check point in the road to Mosul dam, we passed the defence wall of the Peshmerga forces. There the Peshmerga came and took us in their cars to one of their check points and from there we rented two cars to take us to Dohuk.

He said finally we thanked God as the whole members of the family arrived safely in spite of all the difficulties.