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What To Do With ISIS Families in Mosul?

People in Mosul are divided about what to do with the families of ISIS fighters now that the battle to retake the city is over. 

“The families of ISIS fighters are more dangerous than the members of ISIS themselves,” says Basma Basim, the head of the Mosul district council. “They are the soil in which the seeds of ISIS have been planted and allowing them to stay in the city will mean a repeat of the bloody scenario that has taken place here.”

A Heatwave Disrupted Our Hydroponics Project in Syria. But We’re Not Stopping.

Recently, we told you about an experimental effort to help Syrian families feed themselves in the middle of their country’s civil war.

Even before we distributed food to survivors of last April’s chemical attack, our team in Syria was asking: what would it take to give families more control over their food situation, to reduce their dependence on aid? Emergency food distributions are an essential lifeline in the middle of a crisis, but they are not a long-term solution.

The Biggest Threat to ISIS Ideology? It’s Not What You Think.

There’s a reason ISIS destroys TVs like this one that I saw on the streets of Mosul. There’s a reason they ban cell phones. There’s a reason they go house to house searching for satellite dishes, radios, or any other means of contact with the outside world. In cities like Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, punishments for being caught with a phone include public whipping and having your hand cut off.

It seems the more territory ISIS loses, the more paranoid they become.

How To Make Peace In A Divided World

Banksy Love Doctor. Photo by El Payo / CC BY-NC 2.0

We stood outside the glass doors of the hospital, my childhood friend and I, poised to go our separate ways. His father was upstairs, on the 2nd floor, and the outlook was grim.

“The fact that he’s up there is one thing,” he said, looking up over his shoulder. “But coming on the heels of this thing with my mom... it’s like everyone thinks there is one cup of love,” he held his hand together like a cup, “and if I pour this much into his cup, that only leaves me this much to pour into her cup. But love isn’t like that. Love isn’t finite.”

Peace ≠ Neutrality

Street art by Banksy. Photo by Luxerta / CC BY-NC 2.0

Those who work for peace are sometimes perceived as being neutral. Their refusal to respond in kind to hate or aggression is sometimes seen as a refusal to take a stand against evil.

Wanting peace is not the same as being neutral. You can push for peace and justice at the same time.

No Army Can Defeat ISIS... But We Can

For the last remaining ISIS fighters still holed up in Mosul and for those based in Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria, there is increasingly no way out. They are surrounded. Foreign fighters have even less chance of escape, since they’re unable to blend in with locals who are fleeing the battle.

Now, foreign fighters they’re being targeted for extermination—in some cases, by their own countries.

Can You Change the Lives of Eight Families in Ten Weeks?

They were nearly at the end of their training course—eight men who learned how to build with aluminum and PVC. Their last assignment was to work together to complete a real project for a real client. They read the brief together, visited the site, and took measurements together. The social worker who commissioned a ‘child-friendly space’ to be built in the local juvenile detention center knew exactly what she wanted—our students needed to deliver. 

What Do Sheep Have To Do With Chemotherapy? Everything.

Daod winces each time he shifts his thin frame on the sleeping mat. There isn’t much padding between his bones and the cool concrete floor below.

Daod is 17. He lives in Mosul, is a big fan of Lionel Messi and loves to watch prank shows on TV. And he’s been fighting cancer for the last three years.

Defying ISIS and Dodging Airstrikes to Provide Medical Care in Mosul

“What drove you to do this work, despite the danger?”

“Our shared humanity.” Ibtisam speaks with the confidence of someone who has lived a dozen lifetimes during her short time on earth. “How could I not help when I had the [medical] experience that people needed?”

What is Jihad? It's Complicated...

In the opening days of World War II, Europe experienced the original “shock and awe” campaign. Nazi Germany’s military forces unleashed unprecedented terror onto neighbouring countries. They were the first to use modern technology at immense scale, in order to launch “an intense military campaign intended to bring about a swift victory.”The Germans called this blitzkrieg, which translates into English as “lightning war”.

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