14-year-old girl given as gift to ISIS commander escapes

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By Mark Ellis

"Narin" was deeply scarred by her ordeal (Hassan Haji for the Washington Post).
“Narin” was deeply scarred by her ordeal (Hassan Haji for the Washington Post).

At only 14 she was captured from her dusty village on the western Ninevah plains by ISIS fighters, then given as a bride – a trophy of war — to one of their 50-year-old commanders. By God’s grace, she was able to escape one Friday evening, while he bowed before Allah in the mosque.

On Aug. 3, relatives called Narin’s* family with alarming news: ISIS fighters were approaching their quiet village, Tel Uzer. Fearing the worst, her Yazidi family fled on foot, carrying only their clothes and a few valuables, according to Narin’s firsthand account told to The Washington Post.

Their immediate thought was to take refuge on Mount Sinjar, along with thousands of other Yazidis, because they heard the descriptions of ISIS brutality and what they had done to non-Muslims. But they never made it to Mount Sinjar.

“Suddenly several vehicles drew up and we found ourselves surrounded by militants wearing Islamic State uniforms. Several people screamed in horror; we were scared for our lives. I’ve never felt so helpless in my 14 years. They had blocked our path to safety, and there was nothing we could do,” Narin told The Post.

The ISIS fighters divided their captives by gender and age: One group was comprised of younger, more capable men, another group composed of girls and young women, and a third held older men and women.

“The jihadists stole cash and jewelry from this last group,” Narin recounted, “and left them alone at the oasis. Then they placed the girls and women in trucks. As they drove us away, we heard gunshots. Later we learned that they were killing the young men.”

Narin was taken to an empty school in a small town west of Mosul near the Syrian border. “We met many other Yazidi women who were captured by Islamic State. Their fathers, brothers and husbands had also been killed,” she told The Post.

One of the ISIS fighters entered the room where the women were kept and shouted, “I testify that there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet. If you repeat this, you will become Muslims,” he said.

But the Yazidi women refused. “They were furious. They insulted us a lot and cursed us and our beliefs,” Narin said.

Several days later, they were taken to a large hall full of more Yazidi girls and women, at ISIS’s headquarters in Mosul.

“Some of the fighters were my age,” Narin noted. “They told us we were pagans and confined us for 20 days inside the building, where we slept on the floor and ate only once per day. Every now and then, an Islamic State man would come in and tell us to convert, but each time we refused. As faithful Yazidis, we would not abandon our religion. We wept a lot and mourned the losses suffered by our community.”

One day, the guards separated the married from unmarried women. Then the unthinkable happened. Narin and her childhood friend Shayma were given as gifts to ISIS fighters, for their use as wives or concubines.

“Shayma was awarded to Abu Hussein, who was a cleric. I was given to an overweight, dark-bearded man about 50 years old who seemed to have some high rank. He went by the nickname Abu Ahmed. They drove us down to their home in Fallujah,” she told The Post.

The house they were taken to “looked like a palace” in the young woman’s estimation, probably another of the spoils of war that once belonged to a wealthy family before Fallujah fell to the terrorists.

“Abu Ahmed kept telling me to convert, which I ignored,” Narin said. “He tried to rape me several times, but I did not allow him to touch me in any sexual way. Instead, he cursed me and beat me every day, punching and kicking me. He fed me only one meal per day. Shayma and I began to discuss killing ourselves.”

The two young women were allowed to call their families once. They learned their families made it to Mount Sinjar, where ISIS surrounded them and tried to starve them to death. After five days under siege, Kurdish rescue forces evacuated them to Syria and then back to northern Iraq.

On their sixth day in Fallujah, Narin’s captor left to conduct business in Mosul, while Shayma’s captor stayed behind. But at sunset, he went to the mosque for prayers, while he left the two girls locked inside the house.

Using a cellphone, they contacted a Sunni friend of Shayma’s cousin, who lived in Fallujah, and asked for help. He said it would be too dangerous for him to attempt a rescue at the house.

But how could they break free? “Shayma and I used kitchen knives and meat cleavers to break the locks of two doors to get out. Wearing traditional long black abayas that we found in the house, we walked for 15 minutes through town, which was quiet for evening prayers.”

Then Shayma’s friend, Mahmoud, came and picked them up on the street and took them to his home.

That night, he fed the two girls and gave them a place to sleep. The next morning, he recruited a cab driver to take them on the two-hour trip to Baghdad.

“The driver said he was afraid of Islamic State but offered to help us for God’s sake. We dressed like local women and covered our faces with a niqab, leaving only our eyes visible. Mahmoud gave us fake student IDs in case we were stopped at checkpoints.”

It was a fretful journey. “I had never felt so much anxiety,” Narin told The Post. “At each checkpoint, I was sure we’d be discovered. At one — I cannot recall if it was controlled by Islamic State or Iraqi forces — Mahmoud bribed the guards to let us through. We had contacted Yazidi and Muslim Kurdish family friends to help us in Baghdad, and I cannot describe the dizzy sense of relief I felt when we arrived at their house.”

In Baghdad, family friends gave them another pair of fake ID cards that enabled them to board a flight to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region.

By God’s grace they were safe once more. “I still couldn’t believe we were free until our plane touched the ground. After so much fear for so many days, hugging my dad again was the best moment of my life. He said he had cried for me every day since I disappeared.”

That evening, Narin was reunited with her mother and other relatives. “We hugged and kept crying until then I fainted. My month-long ordeal was over, and I felt reborn.”

Later, she heard the sad news that ISIS had shot her 19-year-old, newly wed brother at the oasis where they were first detained. Her sister-in-law, “a very beautiful woman,” is still being held captive somewhere in Mosul.

“Now I am trying to come to terms with what happened,” she told The Post. “I can never again set foot in our little village, even if it’s freed from Islamic State, because the memory of my brother who died nearby would haunt me too much. I still have nightmares and swoon several times a day — when I remember what I saw or imagine what would have happened if Shayma and I hadn’t escaped.”

“What can I do? I want to leave this country altogether. This country is no place for me anymore. I want to go to a place where I might be able to start over, if that is even possible.”

 

*name changed at Narin’s request, to protect her and other victims from reprisal; many of her relatives are still in captivity.

25 COMMENTS

    • I agree–someone has to stop these monsters. I re-tweeted one such article, and some girl replied, “How DARE you criticize these Isis Angels?” No joke–Isis ANGELS. Raping little girls, torturing people who believe differently than you do, killing people by the bucketload–these are all actions that are HATED by God. All religions are different paths to the top of the same mountain, and God’s waiting for us all to get with that program. All that matters is that you DO believe…and that you treat your fellow man with compassion, respect, and dignity.

  1. Praying for this ISIS situation everyday! This is a prayer answered. Standing that God will avenge all the innocent blood spilled, and that the captives will be set free. Brave young woman.

    • Does that in any way validate, or excuse, the atrocities that are being committed against these people? Does that mitigate the responsibility of Christians to pray for them?

  2. God is our creator and we are all his creation no matter what is our belief. HE did not condemn us & send us to hell for our sins but loved us so much – He send Jesus, The Son of God , the Word of God, born of the Spirit of God who was without sin to die for our sins just to save us from death. Those who accept the blood sacrifice of Jesus for their sin are called children of God. There is no God like Our God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who loves us so much and taught us to love & bless our enemies. Anything contrary to the character & behavior of our God is not of God it is Evil and demonic and deceitfully also causes those ignorant of the One True God that they are following and believing another so called God of theirs who is asking them to do such atrocities against his own creation. We pray that by the Holy Spirit the knowledge of the Love of Jesus our Lord and Savior be known to them, fill them & that it may also overflow from their lives. It is not their fault they are devoid of love for they do not know the love of our God because our churches in so called Christian nations (USA, Europe) are empty, asleep, and cold or luke warm and did not take their responsibility seriously to Jesus’ command before He ascended into heaven – Math 28:18-20″Go make disciples of all men….teaching them…I am with you always even to the end of the age”. The so called Christian Nations kept pushing our Loving God out of their schools and out of their administration of their nation – this is the out come. Evil increases because good men sit around watching & doing nothing from the very time evil starts taking root. The Answer is having ‘Jesus’ in each man’s heart to have the Love of our God. The evil men do not have any idea of Love of God for it does not exist in their so called holy book which teaches them to destroy the very creation of God

  3. I feel as so many others do that this kind of behavior by ISIS is the core of evil.. I believe that these men are so evil, they do not feel or have hearts and that they must be stopped. It would have been great if holy men and women had gotten to them first and shown them the way to salvation through Jesus Christ and then this would never happen but the “Child of the living God” is correct to say that there were too many men and women sleeping in the churches or not even going to church and this is the outcome.. But God is still the same God today, tomorrow and forever.. He has promised to save us when we repent and yes, we should repent, we should form the army of God.. we need to go after the enemies of God and rescue the victims of this most terrible group of evil.. I believe that good Godly leaders are the answer and they should lead good men to pray against the evils of the ISIS and bring the Holy Bible to their territory and maybe some will be saved but most will have to be destroyed as they will not accept Jesus..

  4. What brave, clever young women you are. Praying that you find peace. Thank you, and bless you for sharing your heroic story! Peace be with you and your families.

  5. In the name of Jesus the Christ our Redeemer do I pray and claim 1000 Muslim souls for each Christian that they have killed. For all the pain all Muslims cause all over the world I ask you God Almighty Jehovah for your Righteous Judgement over them in Christ Jesus’ name. Amen

  6. My heart goes out to all those suffering at the hands of these evil satanic beings who are challenging our Almighty God….but thank God He is with us in times like these and is working things out, like in the escape of these 2 girls. or give courage and strength to those who are suffering. One important encouragement is that though they kill the body, they cannot kill the soul…and what a joy; for those who are now in the presence of the Lord for their faith. God still reigns over everything!!!

  7. The bible says the Arabs are the enemy of God. But what confuses me is the Quran states that the Muslim 12th caliphate or Maudi will come & go with Jesus and Jesus will slay the Antichrist. If they believe that there is a Jesus Christ then why don’t they believe in his father the one true God instead of Allah the Babylonian moon god? Just food for thought. Seems to me that Muhammad took Christianity and the moon god Allah and twisted the religion to favor what he wanted to get out of life. Which is a tyrannical rule over his subjects brainwashing them to do his bidding and fulfill his sick twisted perversions.

      • The Bible does not say that Arabs are the enemy of God. Jesus has broken down any division between Arab and Jew, and wants everyone to come to Him for salvation. He will not turn any away. There are a great many Arabs who have found the love of Jesus today.

  8. May god be a shield of protection and strength to all the people in the middle east who are under the oppression of allah followers. We pray for troops and police forces combating against these evil men. We pray for the family members traumatized by the horrors done to them and their loved one’s. We pray for the people sent to give aid to them as well. That god be their front and rear guard. And let us declare that allah must bow to jesus. That this terror on earth would be no more.

  9. By God grace? [email protected]! If god had grace he would not have allowed her to be captured in the first place. Why is it god is not responsible for any of the bad in the world? Not one drop of blood shed by these monsters is gods fault but he gets all the praise when some good happens? WAKE UP h only two realities exist 1) he is not real. You all have been duped or 2) he is real but does not care at all about us. He allows millions to suffer everyday. Baby to be born with aids or crack addictions. That’s not love that’s not compassion. That’s something that doesn’t care or doesn’t exist.

    • Seriously,

      “Baby born with crack addiction”. Oh brother. What about that mother choosing NOT do drugs so he child ISN’T effected by drugs in-vitro. Same old tired agument. Show me ANYthng good in this country or another that has caused a good, positive change by people who forget or don’t believe in GOD. Any evil done is/was a choice a person made NOT God and this world must suffer the consequences of our actions ( our choices and decisions) and stop expecting God to step in and save the day every time. Neithed he nor we are puppets. Humans, lie, cheat each other on spouses, murder innocent babies so they can continue living sinful, Godless, moral less lives but then something bad happens and after not believing in or ignoring God they think he’ll magically appear and help them. Sometimes he does sometimes he doesn’t. The Bible says Everyones appointed to die, unfortunately it won’t always be peaceful like we all would prefer it to be. I’m sorry but how did we get on the ONLY inhabitable planet in our galaxy? If you can “Critically” explain this please let me know. Maybe if YOU were a believer God and he had wanted YOU to go preach his word to Muslims this event might not have happened. Maybe it was YOUR destiny to reach out to, love and and witness to a Muslim instead of trying to subvert the faith of Christians. Don’t forget unless you’re a believer in allah or convert to their beliefs then you’re also considered the enemy and will be tortured and beheaded for their Jihad. But Jesus instead says love and pray for your enemies not murder them.

  10. The world would be a much better place if we replaced religion with compassion, empathy and reason and taught people, especially men, how to resist the need to compete violently. We simply don’t need the Gods of old, although many religions have meaningful, global wisdom, religion divides more than unites. And it makes people illogical.

  11. Mark – Nazism was illogical and certainly far from compassionate. There was no empathy there and it loved violence.

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