Fleeing Kobane: Taking only the things they could carry

Middle East Eye reports: When Islamic State militants began to close in on Kobane, the town erupted into chaos.

Most fled with just the clothes they were wearing, and any money stashed away in the house they could grab quickly.

Taking the time to pack bags was a gamble, especially for families living on the outskirts of the town, who had long heard about the notoriety of the advancing militants that have captured world attention for the particular brand of cruelty they unleash on their opponents.

Yet, even amid the chaos, a few individuals managed to take an object of sentimental value, an item that in their mind could not be left behind and could not be replaced. In disarray and terror, a small piece of comfort was nonetheless carried over the Syrian border to safety.

As mortars rained down on their hometown, and the fighting between the Peoples Protection Unit (YPG) Kurdish forces and Islamic State militants descended from the rural outskirts into the city, Khaled Khalil Bisiki and his family made the decision to flee Kobane.

Two weeks ago in the middle of the night, as they hurryingly packed their lives into the family’s small battered car, Bisiki ran back inside to grab the deeds to his lands in Kobane. His wife, Maram, quickly followed, grabbing precious family photos.

“We left so fast we couldn’t bring anything with us really, it was all so fast, so you just grab the things you think you can bring with you,” Khaled told Middle East Eye.

“When you remember something is important, it becomes so important. I remembered our land deeds, I want to always have proof that this is my family’s place – to never lose that – and my wife grabbed the family photos.” [Continue reading…]

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