Her family said she couldn’t speak. She was crouched in the third floor of an unfinished concrete building. She saw me when I got close enough, grabbed my hands and whispered something warm and beautiful in my ear while she kissed my half clasped fist. Her face curved into a kind smile. I melted in front of her warm gesture.
Her grandson also whispered to me while I was touring the building and meeting some of the 100 families who have lived in this place for 2 years, “This is our life. This terrible place and poverty is our life. But we are happy.” “Why are you happy?” I asked. “We are alive.” was his reply.
ISIS forces occupy the village she is from. Their stories of loss, death, and suffering, are sickening to hear. I asked many people in her community what they need. “We want to go home.” they said. “What’s the second thing?” I asked. They replied without exception: “Jobs.”