Thousands of Christians and Yazidis have been persecuted and killed by the Islamic State, which is implementing genocide against these minorities and, as survivor Nihad Alawsi recently recounted, in her case she was kidnapped, raped, sold as a sex slave, raped again, impregnated, and after she gave birth to a baby boy who she discovered she loved – “he was a part of me” -- the child was taken away from her.
“They brought the baby to me and he looked up at me,” said Alawsi, 16, in a video released by NRT News and promoted by the AMAR International Charitable Foundation. “I felt he was a part of me and I loved him.”
Nihad Alawsi had an opportunity to escape with the help of a neighbor in the Islamic State-held village in Iraq. She was told, however, “you have to leave your baby behind.”
“I was devastated because regardless of what happened, he’d become a part of me,” said Alawsi.
In the video, Nihad Alawsi talks about her family and what happened after the Islamic State (or Daesh) invaded her village in Iraq in August 2014.
“My village was very beautiful,” she says. “In springtime it was full of flowers and lovely fields. The thing I used to love the most was hanging out with all of my family. I have 12 brothers and six sisters. I love all of them, but I am especially fond of my eldest sister.”
Once the Daesh took over, “I was terrified,” she says. “I didn’t know what was going to happen to my brothers and cousins. We thought they would not harm the girls. From what we heard, they slaughter the men.”
“I was given to one fighter,” says Alawsi. “His name was Salam Hamdou Obaid. He attacked and raped me. I eventually managed to escape and said to myself I’ll either die or reach my family.”
“From there I was captured,” she says. “The leader took me to the market where Yazidi girls are sold. I was bought for $800 dollars. He attacked and raped me, then left me for three days. I hated him beyond explanation.”
“After a month, this criminal had got me pregnant,” says Alawsi. “I felt as if there was a criminal from Daesh inside my womb. I was taken to a hospital and stayed there for four days due to the pills and other steps I’d take to try to abort it.”
According to the video, Nihad Alawsi made several attempts to try to abort the child conceived in rape by a Daesh terrorist. Yet eventually she gave birth.
“They brought the baby to me and he looked up at me,” she says. “I felt he was a part of me and I loved him. I decided I was going to escape to my family.”
Alawsi continues, “There was a neighbor. I said, ‘I need to escape, can you help me get to my family?’ She said, ‘It’s okay, you can go. But you have to leave your baby behind.’”
“I was devastated because regardless of what happened, he’d become a part of me,” says the teenage girl.
After a total of 15 months in captivity, Nihad Alawsi escaped.
“I felt like I was in another world,” she says about her post-captivity life. “I couldn’t believe that the day had come when I would see my family again. My mother and father and my siblings.”
“Inshallah, this year, I want to go back to school and finish my studies,” she says in the video. “My thoughts and fears remain with my missing siblings and my three cousins. I still don’t know their fate. I feel the same about all the Yazidi people under the control of Daesh. We are all one.”
In March 2016, the United States officially declared that the actions of the Islamic State against Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities in the Middle East constituted genocide. The British government made the same official declaration in April 2016.
The AMAR International Charitable Foundation is a non-profit group with offices in Washington, D.C. and in London. According to its webpage, AMAR “helps people in areas of conflict, civil disorder and disruption, rebuild lives within communities under duress by creating and sustaining professional services in medicine, public health, education and basic need provision.”