32-year-old Jasim Haji Hassan, a native of Aajma Village, was living a simple, happy life with his wife, children, mother, and brothers. He had a carpentry business and was very skilled in this occupation. Additionally, his carpentry business became his hobby; Jasim was able to expand his business by providing carpentry services to villages near Sinjar city. Jasim describes his life as incredibly joyful and simple.
“Before 2014, we were all so satisfied with our life – My favorite memories are celebrating beautiful occasions with my family and friends. I miss playing football with my friends so much”
Jasim says that during the beginning stages of the war, Yazidi forces only had simple weaponry; he states when ISIS attacked them and security forces withdraw without fighting, his village used their cars to ferry families from the Ker-Zarek village. In March 2014 Jasim and his family escaped to Sinjar mountain; Jasim decided to help the armed Yazidi forces by helping to deliver food and water to the families.
“Escaping to Sinjar mountain was incredibly difficult – all of us thought that this would be the last day of our lives. It was such a tragic situation as there were old men, women, and children escaping to the mountain by foot. For ten days, we didn’t have food or water, and everyone was very scared”
Jasim said that after the border area between Iraq and Syria became reinforced and safer by the Kurdish fighters and Yazidi forces, his family headed to Syria, followed by Kurdistan. Jasim and his family stayed in refugee camps for three years and afterward, they were able to return to Sinjar after its liberation.
Jasim and his family are currently living in the Yarmook district of Sinjar – Jasim stated that life was incredibly difficult due to the lack of services, employment, and security in the region. ISIS had also burnt his carpentry tools and wood, which made it increasingly difficult for him to re-start his carpentry business. Fortunately, Yazda (along with ASB) began working in the Sinjar area and was able to help Jasim and his two brothers restarting his carpentry business. Jasim now has a stable financial situation and has also been able to provide employment to five different people from Sinjar city. Jasim’s future plan is to expand his business and move back to his home of Aajma village.
“I am grateful to Yazda and ASB for all their support towards helping vulnerable families in Sinjar. After this devastating conflict, my life has changed, and I miss many of my relatives and friends – hopefully, we can rebuild our lives again”
Yazda is implementing this project as a part of the livelihood and agricultural project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB).