They Came in the Night with their Black Flag and Took her Life Away
Eklas was only 14 years old the night that ISIS attacked the Yazidi village when she lived in Northern Iraq.
“My life was beautiful. But two hours changed my entire life. They came with their black flag. They killed our men and raped our girls.” (BBC News, 2017).
She had always been close with her father and two brothers, but they shot and killed them right before her eyes.
She loved her mother, but she was kidnapped right out of her loving arms.
She had a sister that she adored, but she was kidnapped by ISIS as well that night. To this day they haven’t been reunited.
She was a fresh-faced girl with long, flowing raven black hair with the rest of her life ahead of her. But upon being taken into ISIS captivity, she was forced to live as a sex slave, was bought and sold numerous times, and was raped every day for six months.
She was young and full of life, but in ISIS captivity she died a hundred deaths. She even tried to kill herself.
They came in the night with their black flag and took her life away. But now she’s taking itback.
Starting From the Bottom With Nothing But Hope
After numerous failed attempts, Eklas managed to escape from ISIS and seek asylum in a nearby refugee camp.
Says Roads of Success Vice President, Jacqueline Isaac, of the day she met her at a refuge center. “When I first met her, her head was down. All of their heads were down. There was no eye contact in the beginning…There were counselors we had brought…I remember thinking ‘this is not the time for counseling yet. This is a time to recognize them as human beings.’ “ (BBC News, 2017)
There was nothing but a seed of hope that day, the guarded kernel of a human being. Road of Success takes these seeds of hope and sows them, and through our loving nurture we help them grow into the beautiful flowers that they are.
Tech over Trauma has opened a center in Iraq where over 40 girls are learning English and receiving training in how to use important technologies such as the Internet and Skype. Technology is playing an important role in helping girls like Eklas rebuild their lives. It has given them a glimpse of life that goes past the suffering of the past. It has helped them regain their self-confidence and inspired them to shift their focus to the bright future that lies ahead.
Giving a Voice to the Voiceless to End Genocide
More importantly, the survivors are gaining the ability to tell their stories and raise awareness of this genocide for all the world to see. Eklhas is now pursuing her secondary education in a school located in Europe with the ambition to become a lawyer.
Despite all the power of the news, media, and digital communication platforms that exist in the world of today, apparently the voice of the oppressed has not been heard. Because genocide, the persecution of minorities, and the enslavement of women has not yet been eradicated from our world.
The word “genocide” is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group. (Merriam-Webster, n.d.) Throughout history there have been several genocides: The Holocaust, Bosnia, Armenia, and Rwanda. Those are only a few examples.
Roads of Success is giving a voice to the voiceless and in doing so amplifying the call to action to put an end to this horrific act, one that must be heard.
Eklas, along with Roads of Success, testified on behalf of Christians, Yazidis and minorities in the Middle East in front of the UK Parliament in 2016. The team addressed the ongoing genocide in Syria and Iraq and testified on the atrocities religious minorities have had to suffer at the hands of ISIS. They provided evidence from their experiences in Syria and Iraq.
On Thursday, April 20, 2016, the House of Commons unanimously passed a resolution declaring the acts against minorities “a genocide.”
Yet despite all this, genocide is still allowed to happen.
Eli Weisel, in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, said, “And action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all.” (Nobelprize.org, n.d.) If were are indifferent to genocide, something that has no place in the world will continue to exist in the world.
It is incumbent upon each of us as human beings, it is a basic responsibility that we have to one another, to stand up and take action against genocide. By taking action together we can put an end to genocide once and for all.
Donate from Your Heart to End This Genocide
Roads of Success is devoted to serve Middle-Eastern women, persecuted Christians and minorities by empowering them through media and education, advocating for equal rights and freedoms and supporting their needs to maximize their future potential.
But we can’t do it alone.
We are currently in need of $12,000 to fund a container shipment full of donated medical supplies, blankets, clothing and toys to support refugees, impoverished minorities and women in northern Iraq. The supplies will be received by families in their greatest times of need.
We need your support to help us cover the cost of shipping these containers overseas.
Please act from your heart and DONATE HERE.
The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Roads of Success (ROS) as a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts to ROS are tax deductible in the U.S.A to the extent permitted by law. No goods or services were forwarded or offered in exchange for this contribution.
[BBC News]. (2017, July 24). Yazidi survivor: ‘I was raped every day for six months’ – BBC News. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDniN3k5aQ8
Genocide [Def 1]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved May 5th, 2018 fromhttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genocide
Nobelprize.org. (n.d.) The Nobel Peace Prize 1986, Elie Wiesel. Elie Wiesel – Acceptance Speech. Retrieved on May 5th, 2018 from https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-acceptance_en.html