SOHR: “You are ISIS”. Syrian women returning from Al-Hall camp face public rejection
Years ago, Nura al-Khalifa returned to her hometown of Raqqa in northern Syria, hoping to lead a normal life away from the al-Hall camp, where most families of ISIS members live. rejected society. It’s until he worries about life in the store.
Al-Khalifa, 31, is one of thousands who returned from al-Hala camp in 2019 to their hometowns in northeastern Syria, according to an agreement reached between the Syrian Democratic Forces and clan elders.
After returning three years ago, al-Khalifa moved into his family’s modest home in a popular neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Raqqa, which for years was the extremist organization’s most visible stronghold in Syria.
“Most of my neighbors tell me, ‘You are ISIS,’” said Nura, who had no information about her Saudi husband, who has been associated with the organization for five years, after the word “ISIS,” known as an abbreviation for “ISIS.” extremist organization.
Nura, a mother of two, adds: “We want to forget, but people insist that we come back. I haven’t been financially and psychologically comfortable since I left Al-Hall.”
The camp, located in al-Hasakah province, is home to around 56,000 people, including refugees, but most are members of the organisation’s families, Syrians and foreigners who have been displaced there for years when the organization has suffered a series of failures. In the hands of US-backed Kurdish fighters, the last of whom was in March 2019 in the city of Al-Baghuz, in the most remote part of the country. East of Syria.
“Al-Hali camp was more merciful to us than Raqqa,” said al-Khalifa, who was evacuated by thousands of people from Baghdad.
“I left the camp to my two children and their education, but there is no better situation here… I regret leaving the camp,” he explained.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, since 2019, more than 9,000 Syrians have left Al-Holi camp in agreement with the clans to return Syrians to cities and towns.
However, many faced difficult living conditions abroad. After relying on assistance from the countryside, earning a living has become a difficult task in a country in serious economic crisis due to more than 11 years of conflict.
And if al-Khalifa dreamed of traveling abroad, his financial situation did not allow it and he was forced to work to repair houses.
“Some families even refuse to clean their homes because they wear a mask,” he said.
He continues: “Society rejects us. I tried to integrate with it, but to no avail.”
“There is no mercy”
The Turk al-Suwan, the sheikh of the Raqqa tribe, financed 34 families of al-Hali in hopes of helping them integrate into their communities, but the task was not easy.
“I know their families, they are from that area, but they are still not accepted by the public as a reaction to ‘ISIS actions and practices,’” he said.
However, some Raqqa residents have blamed the camp’s returnees, including 29-year-old Sarah Ibrahim, who believes that “many families that have abandoned the al-Hali camp are closed for nothing and nothing to do with them.” neighbors.” At the same time, “many Raka families refuse to deal with them,” he said.
“This will likely lead them to extremism in the future,” he added.
Fearing stigma, Amal, 50, from Aleppo, hid from her new neighbors that she was in the Al-Hol camp, where she left seven months ago with her widowed daughters and grandchildren. And they were all supporters of the organization that remained with him in Baghuz until his last battles.
“My neighbors in Raqqa do not know that I was in the Al-Hall camp. I’m afraid people will think badly if they find out I lived in Baghuz and Al-Hall,” he said.
He added: “Despite the severity of the terror, people knew each other and had hearts for each other, but there is no kinship here in Raqqa”, noting that the main difference is the security they enjoy compared to the countryside in Raqqa. That every now and then he witnesses security chaos and murders.
“Some people still don’t agree that I lived in areas controlled by ISIS,” he says.
“As long as I’m comfortable with my life, people shouldn’t know where I am,” he added.
After fleeing Baghdad, Umm Muhammad (45) has not heard from her husband and moved from al-Hali to Raqqa seven months ago.
A woman who complains of impotence and difficult living conditions asks – How long will society consider us “Islamic” and reject us?
“All I want is to live comfortably and safely,” he added.
Source: News Unrolled