A Dramatic Story of Escape

A warm coat for a little girl is just one way Samaritan’s Purse is helping a family forced to flee from terror in Iraq

Three-month-old Eman was the first beneficiary of jackets airlifted by Samaritan’s Purse from Charlotte, N.C., to Erbil, Iraq.

Recently, staff interviewed her father, Kazi, and found out more of their family’s story.

Kazi and his family are Kurds who lived in the town of Sinjar, which was captured by ISIS jihadists on 3 August. Some residents were killed. Others fled and faced harsh conditions trapped in the mountains. On 8 August, the United States Air Force began conducting air strikes to relieve the humanitarian disaster in the making.

“We saw a lot of fighting, a lot of blood,” Kazi said.

“The first day we went to the ISIS checkpoint and they did not allow us to leave, because they knew we would go and fight for the Peshmerga (Kurdish fighters),” Kazi said.

On the second day, they managed to escape but had to leave something behind at each checkpoint.

“We left everything—our houses, our cars, our jewelry, even our land,” Kazi said. “We just came with the clothes we had on.”

Kazi and his family, along with his brother and family, managed to reach Erbil and began staying with another brother. With the couples, their children, and Kazi’s mom, there are now almost 20 people living in one single-family dwelling of just three small rooms.

Eman, whose name means “faith,” is just a little too young to enjoy playing on the makeshift swing that her siblings and cousins love so much.

Samaritan’s Purse has been able to assist these families and demonstrate the love of Christ by providing children’s jackets, blankets, heaters, and food. They most recently received a hygiene kit (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and more) and a kitchen kit (pots, plates, cups, utensils).

Kazi says he hopes one day to return to Sinjar with his family.

“All my hope for Iraq and for my family is for peace,” he said.