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It requires courage to be an artist

farhad barakat ali

Dunia Haji Hami has proven for us, that the pain we carry in our heart can make art when we expose it. She was only 14 years old when her city was invaded by the terrorist group that is known by ISIS.

This turn in her life was a radical change that made her no longer able to live her simple life that was all about studying and attending wedding parties with her friends. She was frightened by the sounds of the bullets that she heard the morning ISIS launched their groups to invade her village. She woke up from her vital dream that was simply about her family gathering and dining in a green garden.

At that horrific morning and not knowing what has happened. her mom reached out to her with tears covering up her wrinkled face. “Dunia, we have to run away, those people are here to kill all Ezidis and obliterate this religion,” her mother said. Dunia, the girl who carries an overloaded heart with love for her village and her beloved ones, which made her refuse to flee away. then, the unfortunate occurs, ISIS groups break into their house. The entire family becomes at the ISIS’ custody. The family gets through the hardest days of their lives that they would have preferred death than witnessing what was happening on that side of the world. Dunia, the girl with simple ambitions was held in their captivity for no less than four years.

During these four years, she was beaten, sold in sex trafficking, forced to convert to Islam, memorize the Quran, and pray with them. Dunia with other girls in their captivity were forced to do anything that satisfies the ISIS members. They were seen infidels by ISIS because they are not Muslim, therefore, they deserved to be treated in the worse ways possible. The luck was not on Dunia’s side, she could neither run away from their imprisonment nor ends her tragic life by committing to suicide.

After giving up and accepting her life that there are no possible ways to escape from this endless nightmare, that is all about torturing, fear, tears, rape, slaughtering, screams that never leaves her ears.

Dunia gives it a last try to escape and putting her life at risk that anyone who tries to escape will be cut to pieces until they die slowly.
For the first time in Dunia’s life, she manages to escape and reach the remaining of her family in northern Iraq (Kurdistan).

Dunia, who has become 19 years old and lived four years of her life in hell. Momentarily, she had to start a life from the beginning. however, it will not be an easy journey to overcome the death of her friends and family members, and the fear of saying NO every time she was forced to do unpleasant things that go against her willing.

Dunia needed to escape from her thoughts at the current time, after overcoming the daily torture from ISIS. She started to paint as an escape from her pain, scary thoughts, and the injustice that she had been through. Her skills at paining have provided her a window to her peaceful childhood dreams, however, it does not seem to be achievable as more than 40 out of 77 her large family members are still missing or executed by ISIS.

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