Stories From Fallujah: A Mother's Lament

When you think about life under ISIS rule, how do you think families keep hope alive? With all the bombings, oppressive ideology, and the knowledge that your home is doomed to become a war zone, it’s hard to imagine what could possibly keep people going. How do they press on?

Look into the eyes of these mothers who just escaped ISIS rule and you can see it:

The love they have for their children motivates above all. It is a fierce, protective love.


When we first arrived, some of these mothers had been stranded without food or water for days. They were understandably outraged to have come this far—to have survived ISIS—and now be on the verge of dying in the desert.

But then you showed up. This specific camp outside Fallujah is now receiving regular deliveries of water and food, thanks to your giving. Families have tents over their heads and men are finally being released from detainment centers and reunited with their families.

By no means is life easy for these women now. They are a long way from being able to return home. But you have made things a little easier, and we are only just getting started. Thank you.

This week, we've been sharing rough, raw stories from the camps around Fallujah. We chose not to "polish" them or "clean them up" before sharing, because we want you to experience the rawness of life in the camps, from the perspective of those who  spend hours tailoring videos, selecting music, and trying to make them as appealing as possible, but not this week. This is about simply coming face-to-face with people right after they escaped ISIS terror in Fallujah.

Their stories and statements matter, and they are worthy of our love. Thank you for showing up in the desert with food and water to make sure they know that.

Help us continue to care for children traumatized by war and stranded in the desert.

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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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Stories From Fallujah: A Mother's Lament
Stories From Fallujah: A Mother's Lament
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