On the day my daughter died we were fighting in a …

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On the day my daughter died we were fighting in a …


Neil Shea








POINT (-8577881.48620894, 4697151.55518964)

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On the day my daughter died we were fighting in a place called Doquq. The women were mixed with the men, and my husband was there, too. I outrank him, yes, but at a time like that you don't think of such things. Your family becomes much larger and you have many sons and daughters. We were all advancing together. It was a confusing time. ISIS was stronger then and they began firing mortars. You know about mortars. They have no eyes, they do not choose. There is no sure place to hide. I was commanding the women when they came. Nine mortars, then a pause, a stillness. We waited. We listened. Through such quiet their fighters usually attack. One last mortar fell and then a soldier ran up to report that my driver had been wounded. A few minutes later another came to say that Rangin had been hit. When I first saw her, I thought she was already dead. Her blood was on the ground, her hair dark in the mud. I had no time for pain; the fighting had not ended. She was carried to the hospital and I remained with my soldiers. A short time later the fighting fell off and I was able to visit Rangin at the hospital. I saw the blood in her eyes. I knew she was gone. What can I tell of her? She was very brave, very kind. Of my eight children she was most like me. I miss her terribly. But every family must sacrifice. Behind every stone in the fields someone has been killed. Rangin was a captain, a sniper. Her rifle survived. Yes, I will give it to another woman. I will tell her Daughter, go and kill an Arab. Go and kill them all. #onassignment for @natgeo

#kurdistan #mothers #daughters #soldiers #isis #nationalgeographic #combat #shorttrue #trueshort #iraq #instakurd #everydaymiddleeast @petergwin @kengeiger @yuri.kozyrev @hawrekhalid •• see the series: #kurds2015





Neil Shea, “On the day my daughter died we were fighting in a …,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed June 20, 2019, http://instaessayarchive.org/items/show/3651.