By Nedail Yousif Ealai
I left Ninawa towards the governorate of Irbil after staying for two days at my house under random shelling by the security forces’ airplanes of Iraq, in their armed confrontation during which they stormed the city of Mosul. When the shelling of residential areas became more concentrated, I became worried for my family, and decided to leave the house for a safe place.
We left by car at 9 o’clock, raising white flags, terrified of being shelled.
Everyone was in a state of terror of what may happen to us on the road. Even my three-year old daughter said, in the Mosul dialect: “I am afraid we are going to die.”
After leaving our house, we saw the militants on the road, and told them that we want to leave Mosul. They said go ahead, and there is no need for the white flags, we want nothing from you. We drove on to safety, but after a great deal of suffering.
There were many dismembered bodies of people, army, and even women and children dispersed around the streets from the random shelling. We headed towards the road leading to the Kurdish region, passing a few villages before Dahuk. The road was crowded with people from Mosul, waiting to enter the Dahuk governorate, or one of the adjacent villages.
It was an excellent initiative from the residents of the villages to assist the displaced people of Mosul. They offered us to stay in the village, and would provide us with all our needs.
We waited in Al-Badriyyeh area for 5 hours under the scorching sun, thirsty and tired, and psychologically broken, until we were permitted to enter the Kurdistan region, to head towards Irbil.
We arrived at the governorate at 2 am, exhausted from the drive and the worry, walking around streets empty of people, carrying with us the images of suffering from the Ninawa governorate.
We cried and moaned, seeing our city where we were born, destroyed and demolished, leaving our house without knowing its fate, and whether we would return there or not.
Wife: “We lived for days waiting for death at any moment. Fear and horror, myself, my children and my husband, terrified of the random shelling.”
We stayed for two days in the basement waiting for the end of the fighting, but then we decided to leave the house and head for my parents’ house in Irbil, not knowing if we would make it there. Even if we die, this is our fate.
We left without knowing the fate, with the exhaustion of traveling that road, in order to get rid of the deteriorating situation in Mosul, until we reached the Irbil governorate.
Do Abu Abdullah and his wife consider Irbil a temporary place until the crisis is over, or is it a place to settle down permanently?
We did not think of the future. We shall wait for whatever comes in Ninawa, although we miss our house and memories which we left in Mosul.
Our daughter Tibah, who is 8 years old said: “I want to go home, because we left my grandfather there, and my room and toys. It is true that I am comfortable in my grandfather’s house here, but I want my home, my room, and my father’s family.
Sadness was clear in everyone’s eyes as they looked at each other. Was that sadness over their houses and memories, or over a lost nation and a lost city?