Haya (11) is from Mosul, Iraq. Her father Faez was a wheat farmer and her mother Maha worked at home. Her older brothers, Muhammed (6) and Asfuk (13) attended school.
Maha explains Mosul was shelled and their farm was taken over by militants, considered a prize of war. They fled to Baghdad, but faced discrimination there because they are Sunni. Faez father was arrested for being suspicious but was never charged with a crime and eventually released. The family faced recruiters who sought their boys to join radicalized groups so they fled to Turkey, now in Istanbul.
Maha said she fears their future is being erased. She dreams of Haya, Muhammed and Asfuk obtaining a proper education and wants to enable their future. They love to read and write and want to learn Turkish. Though Faez has not yet found work, he is determined to find a connection.
Update 7-28-17 – Family has returned to Iraq.