Among IDP in Ankawa
If you walk the streets of the small town of Ankawa, especially the areas around the main church, you will be able to discern the tragic and sad expressions on the faces of so many people in this limited space. Christians dominate the picture, but there are Shabaks, Yazidis and Kakays among them as well. When you converse with any one, you soon realize what ISIS has inflicted on these poor souls. It is beyond any description. But the fact that these IDP have got a safe haven in Hawler gives them some consolation to mitigate, to certain extent, their unbearable suffering.
Of course when a person is uprooted from his/her place of origin it is then the problems and difficulties mount. Now, In Ankawa, there are around 20,000 IDP. Some live in the church, some in schools, rented houses, some in unfinished buildings and some in tents in the small gardens adjacent to the church. Undeniably, the situation is not what one hopes for, but it is undoubtedly much better than any other alternative like living under the absurd decrees of the Islamic ISIS.
In front of the church there is a temporary hospital. There are doctors, nurses and nuns who help the patients. In our conversation with Sister Diana, she told us about the difficulties they face. On daily bases, hundreds of people visit the clinic. Newborn babies, old people, pregnant women and others. There is medicine to hand out. Donors help. But, of course, in such circumstances, the clinic needs more assistance and material. According to the staff, the KRG has done a lot to provide the hospital with basic needs. However, the sheer number of people makes the situation quite difficult to manage.
During our interview with people, we discovered more about the atrocities perpetrated by the ISIS against them. Some complained about the terrorists taking their money, gold, identity cards and passports. So, now they face difficulties when they try to emigrate to other countries. Some had left their homes twice. First from Mosul to Qaraqush, then from there to Hawler. And in the process, they have lost all their properties and their personal dignities. According to one of them by the name S.A. there are no longer any Christian soul left in Mosul. After 1500 years, the city is emptied from them.
The KRG has shouldered a gigantic task to welcome all these IDP. At the time other countries shun to burden their responsibility, like Iraq itself, Kurdistan has opened its arms for these ethnic groups. It has done whatever possible to assist these people. It is estimated that there are nearly two million IDP in Kurdistan at the moment, and the number is constantly increasing. The displaced are provided with tents to sleep under, food, water, electricity and medical care. While there is no boundary for the cruel and barbaric deeds of the ISIS, the Kurdish Government knows no boundary for its generosity. Above all, the security that the KRG is providing these people is of paramount importance to everything else.