40-year-old Falah Hassan Haji, a Yazidi man currently living in the Azadi district with his wife, mother, and grandmother, had to leave his village (Kany Aido) and frantically uproot his life after brutal attacks by ISIS. Falah states that his life in Kany Aido was happy - his primary responsibilities were looking after his grocery store, which he described as his pride and joy. He speaks fondly of his memories of Kany Aido, which consisted of many wonderful occasions and parties; his life was simple, but it was incredibly joyous.
“To me, our village (Kany Aido) was so special because everyone felt like family; there were so much love and light in our village. I can’t wait to relive these beautiful memories and reunite with my entire family again”
Falah states that when ISIS attacked his beloved village, he felt an exponential amount of fear, anxiety, and trepidation. After much thought, Falah decided to escape to Sinjar mountain in his uncle's car and eventually reached Kurdistan.
“When ISIS attacked, we were unsure about every potential decision and everything felt so unstable and unsafe. When we reached Sinjar mountain, we were there for approximately twelve hours. I witnessed so much pain, horror and barbarism; the faces of fleeing families during those times were so difficult to witness”
Although ISIS’ attacks devastated Falah and his family, he was able to rebuild his life by moving to the Azadi district (Sinjar city). Yazda and ASB aided Falah in opening another grocery store; because of the store, Falah is now able to financially support his family and community.
“My family and I have been deeply appreciative of the help given by Yaza and ASB to open our beloved grocery store. Yazda and ASB’s support has allowed me to positively change my life”
Falah states that he wants to eventually go back to Kany Aido after the security situation rapidly improves - he also mentions that he would like to move his grocery store back to his village.
“My village and many other villages need a lot of help to not only rebuild their houses, but rebuild their lives. The conflict did devastate my life - I had to flee my village and my house was damaged. But, I have hope; slowly, but surely, I am building my life back up again”