After ISIS: Meet the First Families to Come Home to Fallujah

"Welcome home!"

That was your message to the very first Fallujah families coming home. After all the running, the fear, the wrongness of it all—families are finally coming home.

They ran from the bombs, bullets.

They swam with infants over their head, sniper fire popping around them.

They ran through booby-trapped roads, as friends and neighbors around them were indiscriminately blown up by ISIS landmines.

They ran not knowing when they’d be back, what lay ahead, where they would live or bathe or what they would eat.

They ran, assuming nobody—not foreign powers, other aid organizations, or even their own government—was going to help them this time. Not after ISIS.

And they would have been right... except for one thing: You were there.

You mobilized powerfully and quickly and made sure these families had what they needed to hold on and keep hope alive. Now, families who fled are starting to come home!

When we arrived in Fallujah, the streets were totally empty. But then families began trickling in, and we were there to offer them welcome home gifts of food and other essentials.

We thought you’d like to meet some of the children we welcomed back to Fallujah a few days ago. Their homecoming was made a little brighter, thanks to you...

This is Karar, and he is the very first child to go home in Fallujah!

We shared a meal with Karar and his parents to celebrate their homecoming. It was the first meal eaten by a family in the newly-liberated city.

Thanks to you, Karar and his family have enough food to eat for over a month, as they begin rebuilding their life.

This is Ali, and he had mixed feelings about returning home. “Where are my toys?” he asked his mom as soon as they were home. He wasn’t too happy to find they were missing and wondered if the militants had stolen them.

Oh, these two! Usama and Abdullah were thrilled to be back home with their father. Dad proudly told us the twins were great students before ISIS captured the city. They look forward to school reopening—thanks for helping children like this start living again! 

Thousands more families are still waiting for their chance to come home. Many have no idea when they'll be allowed to return—or whey they'll find when they do. But we are ready to welcome them.

Thank you for being "first in, last out" kind of people. You have stood alongside Fallujan families throughout this ordeal. We plan to continue delivering "welcome home" aid as more families arrive in the days and weeks ahead.

Thank you for believing the best is yet to come for them—onward!


Hundreds more families are expected to return to Fallujah and the surrounding area in the next few days. Help us meet them with essential food and supplies as they start rebuilding their lives! 

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About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

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After ISIS: Meet the First Families to Come Home to Fallujah
After ISIS: Meet the First Families to Come Home to Fallujah
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