[Published here May 16, 2019]
Laylan (Iraq) (AFP) – No documents? No doctor. Without state-issued IDs, Iraqi mothers struggle to have children born under the now-defeated Islamic State group treated for conditions ranging from asthma to epilepsy.
[Published here March 16, 2015]
These are but a few of the names that, according to a daring animated film based on real interviews, Syrian women give to their vaginas. This is the work of Estayqazat, a self-described online Syrian feminist movement focusing on the body, sex and sexuality of Syrian women. With a name that translates to “She has awoken” in Arabic, the group’s goal is ambitious: to inspire a feminist movement in war-ravaged Syria through online videos and testimonies.
In February, I had the opportunity to work on an essay to accompany photos by an amazing photographer and friend, Felipe Jacome. He took dramatic portraits of Syrian refugee parents in Lebanon and their children, who are often at risk of becoming stateless. One of the women, Dina, told me her story.
It’s published in Al Jazeera Magazine, an elegant publication that’s only available for download on phones and tablets. Check out the little preview below, and click the link to download the magazine.
‘I’ll tell you the story of how we left Syria,’ Dina begins. ‘We got to the last Syrian checkpoint before the border point. ‘Where are you going?’ they asked me. ‘To Lebanon? You can’t go. [The border guard] forced my kids out of the car and pointed his gun at them. He cocked the gun and pointed it at my kids.’ Her voice breaks and tears roll down her cheeks, but Dina continues. ‘The driver tried to calm him down. The border guard said, ‘No, I’ll gun you down and every single one of these kids.’ We got back in the car. I looked at whatever money I had and gave it to him, begging, kissing his hands.’