‘Around the time we joined the caliphate, we had been at the lowest point of our lives’
My name is Rahma. I am 34 years old.
I have three children, two of them with autism. I was also ill when my husband’s company went bankrupt, and it seemed like we had no economic solution to support our healthcare whatsoever.
After I saw the caliphate declaration online, I become hooked. Someone who was already in Syria told me how the health facilities there were incredible: all free of charge and highly professional. My husband and I, we picked up loans, sold our house and everything we had, gathered up our family and left.
A total of 26 members of my family including my mother flew to Turkey and then in the dead of night, we crossed over the border to Raqqa with the help of a smuggler. I was carrying with me a baby, my one-year-old child.
When we arrived, I was still very sick. A doctor at Raqqa examined me and told me I had to go to a hospital in Mosul, Iraq. It took about 8 hours for me to get there by road. I have never in my life seen such a hospital - no-one trying to keep the hospital clean and there was human waste was scattered everywhere in the bathrooms.
‘I was in shock when I saw the reality.’
‘And There was another thing that still makes me shudder.’
My neighbor in Raqqa was a Syrian girl, only 15 years old. Her child was one year old. I asked her, how come you are married at this young age. She said “My parents wanted me to marry an ISIS fighter, but I want to play and to go to school. I have to take care of my child now.” I was sad hearing that.
Women under ISIS are meant to be a ‘baby factory’. They go after girls who have only just had their period for first time. They want to make many children and then teach them to be terrorists. There are many women who were passed from fighter to fighter, stuck in a cycle like a rotating trophy. That disgusted me. I came to the conclusion that ISIS was really not Islam.