August 31, 2014
Thousands of Yazidi refugees who where displaced from their homes in Sinjar, are seeking a new life outside of Iraq. The minority, who ISIS branded as "devil worshipers", fled their homes in Sinjar to apparent safety in Kurdish controlled Dohuk, where they lived in makeshift refugee camps. However, having lost any hope of ever returning to their homes, they chose instead to leave Iraq and look for new opportunities in a European country.
The video shows Yazidi people traveling on foot through the mountains on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkish border, as they try to enter Turkey unofficially.
Amin Mirza, Yazidi refugee (man, Arabic):
"I am going to Turkey."
Interviewer: Why did you decide to go to Turkey?
"We are going to Turkey looking for peace, safety and stability."
Interviewer: What happened to you in Sinjar? Can you tell me the story?
"What happened to us in Sinjar didn't happen to anyone else. It was a genocide, we were left with no money or clothes. Two of my nieces were captured by ISIS. My brother, his wife and their two children were also taken by ISIS. Where shall I go? I have to find somewhere safe."
Interviewer: Do you think Turkey is safe and do you think it's possible to settle in Turkey?
"Now it's safer in Turkey, thousands of people from my city are already there and are doing well in Turkey."
Interviewer: Did they all go this way [to Turkey]?
"Yes they all passed through the mountains this way with the help of the PKK."
Interviewer: How long have you been walking for to get to Turkey?
"I don't care if it takes me 2 or 3 days to get there, I will sacrifice myself to get my children to a safer place."
Ginar, Yazidi refugee (woman, Arabic):
"They captured our relatives, but just before they could capture us we ran away. One hour before they took over the town, we knew that the Peshmerga had retreated so we left."
Interviewer: Do you know anyone who was captured by ISIS?
"Yes, my cousin and my brother in law, his wife and children were all taken by ISIS and we know nothing about where they are. We came here to cross to Turkey but we were told that the border is closed and so we are waiting for it to be opened."
Interviewer: How long do you think you can stay here in the mountain?
"We really don't know. Yesterday the children were freezing, we have no food, nothing, we just came as we are. If we have to stay here for two or three more days, I don't think the children will survive.. We adults can stay alive but I doubt the children can."