Iraq News
Human Rights

Mosul residents display solidarity under stress

By Alaa Hussain in Baghdad

Displaced Iraqis from west Mosul seek shelter in camps located south of Mosul. [Photo courtesy of Iraqi Ministry of Trade]

Displaced Iraqis from west Mosul seek shelter in camps located south of Mosul. [Photo courtesy of Iraqi Ministry of Trade]

When he fled west Mosul for a displacement camp outside the city, Abu Saleh al-Johaishi insisted on bringing his family's young Christian neighbour with them, offering her the same protection as his own daughters.

In a video posted on social media, al-Johaishi describes how he could not let his Assyrian neighbour, who was alone in her house, remain alone in the city.

"I will not leave her until I hand her to her aunts living in Basra," he said. "This girl has become one of my daughters."

Stories like this speak to the courtesy for which Mosul residents are known, even as they face the darkest circumstances, Ninawa provincial council security committee member Hassan Shubeib al-Sabawi told Diyaruna.

There are constant stories like this, of local residents helping and supporting one another, he said, "even when they are in displacement camps".

Sensing the strong feeling of fraternity among city residents, he said, the security forces began to issue security clearances that allow residents of west Mosul to seek shelter with civilians in eastern Mosul and nearby villages.

As of March 16th, around 54,200 displaced residents had moved in with families or friends in the eastern part of the city and liberated areas to the south since the operation to liberate west Mosul began, said Minister of Migration and Displacement Jassem Mohammed al-Jaff.

Sharing a loaf of bread

"Sharing a loaf of bread with a displaced resident in your home while you are already suffering from hardship is challenging in itself," Ninawa provincial council member Hiyam Abdal told Diyaruna.

"Despite all this, [east Mosul residents] do not shut their doors in the face of any displaced person from the western side," she said.

Mosques also have opened their doors to the displaced, she said, while others moved to live with the residents of al-Qayyarah, Hamam al-Alil and surrounding villages.

She called on the federal government to increase humanitarian aid to the displaced population, adding that the shelter, food and medical care provided is insufficient to meet their needs.

She also called for food ration card allocations to be made available in full and without delay, as this form of assistance had been suspended for the past two years under ISIL's occupation of the city.

Iraqi MP Intissar al-Jubury, who serves on the parliamentary women’s committee, called on the federal government to mobilise to its full capacity to provide relief to the displaced population.

"The displaced are suffering from a severe shortage in food as well as the risk of cholera," she said, due to accumulation of sewage water in displacement camps.

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The article is very good. However, I think it's useless. Who says that sharing a loaf of bread is a challenge? Did she share her salary and assignment wages with the 2014 displaced people or today's displaced people? There are some who don't back up words with deeds