In an earlier letter it was mentioned that one of our Dominican Sisters (Sr Hanaa) went to fetch her parents from the bank of Al-Khazir River. Receiving a call at 6:00 am on Friday morning the 22nd from her elderly parents, she learned that they were forced out of Karakosh with her blood-sister. A car drove her with her nephew from Ankawa to the last checkpoint leaving Erbil. After that they had to walk for miles to arrive to the river bank; they were lucky that her sister still had a cell phone with her, unlike other people in the caravan. She had to cross two sand ramps that separate Kurdistan from Nineveh Plain. These ramps have been put in the past weeks for protection. Eventually, she found her parents in very bad condition. Her sister was the rod that supported her parents. Upon seeing her parents she learned from her mother that there was a woman and her husband behind on the ground and the man was about to die. There were even three dogs waiting for them to die. Sr. Hanaa gave them some water, and put them in construction carts that they found nearby. They pushed them all the way to Erbil checkpoint where there was a car waiting for them as Sr. Hanaa had called a priest asking for water and help. It took her seven hours to go and bring her family back.
We are enormously proud of our sister, Hanaa, and thank God for her courage. On the next day, when Sr. Hanaa was able to tell her story, it was very sad to see her so overwhelmed because of the horror that she experienced. It was devastating for her that she could not help more people because it was already after 10:00 pm and it was too dark for anyone to go and search for people. She came back hoping that she will be able to go back the next day (Saturday) and help the rest.
On Saturday there was no sign of where the others were. However, people did not give up. A relative of one of those who were lost asked Muslim friends in the area to look for them, but they could not find them until Sunday morning the 24th. When they found them they took them to a house and fed them. They had been without food for two days and they were drinking water from the river while they were lost. The Muslim men who found them were able to connect with the families of these people and guide them to a village called Jamacor to find people. They arrived to Ankawa- Erbil safe on Sunday at 2:00 pm. They lived two horror nights in the open. Dogs and wolfs were watching them all night and the youngest among them (65 years old a brother of one of our sisters) spent the night collecting stones and throwing them at these animals so they would go away.
Translating and editing: Sisters Luma and Nazik OP
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