ISIS Was Seconds Away From Executing Him: Mohammad's Incredible Story of Escape

“I just came from death! I just came from death!”

He’d grabbed one of us by the arm and was practically shouting between deep breaths—not something you expect to hear from someone, especially a random stranger.

We learned his name was Mohammad and he had just escaped ISIS a few minutes ago.

The militants were holding people hostage in a house not far from our food delivery inside west Mosul city limits, and they were shooting them one by one for “treason.” Anyone trying to flee their “caliphate” over to the Iraqi military side was considered a traitor and was shot.

Mohammad claims he saw them shoot a boy to death just moments before he escaped.

“When ISIS came to shoot me, that’s when the airstrike hit them,” he said. “He pointed his gun at me. He was about to shoot me. Then the airstrike hit. He died, and I survived. I just came from death.”

Mohammad eventually wandered away to find his family—people he thought he’d never see again. But before he left, he asked for help getting food from our delivery trucks. We typically don’t cut lines for people, but after what this man had been through, we told him we’d see what we could do.

A few minutes later, though, he surprised us: “Actually, I don’t need food. My family got their rations already. Thank you, and God bless you all.”

Mohammad’s story is an obvious reminder of the desperation people experience under ISIS, but it’s also a testament to his integrity and character.

He saw death and torture with his own eyes. He was nearly killed. Under that kind of pressure, it’s easy to understand how someone would do whatever it takes to survive— even lying to us to get a double portion of food. How would we have known? Instead, he thanked us and said he and his family were already taken care of.

We never could have planned this chance meeting with Mohammad, but it’s a powerful reminder of the importance of showing up in the hard places and being available. Thank you for loving and serving the people here, for making sure that families are welcomed with food as soon as they escape, that they have running water in their homes and medical care in their neighborhoods.

None of that is possible without people like you who give each month. One-time gifts are amazing, and we are grateful for every single one, but the faithful core of this community are those who give regularly, month after month, year after year—they are the frontline servants meeting the needs of just-freed people like Mohammad and his family.

Ready to join them? If we wait to give until people are free, it might be too late. Signing up to give each month, assures our frontline delivery teams that you have their back, and makes sure that needs are met immediately, without delay.

 


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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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“I Just Came From Death!”—Meet The Man Who Barely Survived Execution
ISIS Was Seconds Away From Executing Him: Mohammad's Incredible Story of Escape
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