May 10th, 2017
Doctor Faiz is known for his fantastic mustache. He brought this ambulance back from the front line to pick up an escaping family that had wandered into our property. We had fed them and shared light, laughs and smiles with the children.
When they were loading into the back of the ambulance to be taken to safe location for processing, Faiz called me to the drivers side of the ambulance. He said “Daesh”, opened the door and nodded with his mustache in answer to my confounded expression. I was shocked. A member of ISIS had been caught by the Iraqi army. He was detained with handcuffs and he was blindfolded. Faiz shined a head lamp on the man as I took the photo.
I had never seen ISIS (locally called "Daesh") in person before. And suddenly here he was. I thought to myself, “How do I feel about meeting this guy who fights under the ISIS banner?” The guy seemed compliant when Faiz translated that I was taking a photo, scared even. I would be scared too if I was blindfolded and suddenly a bright light was shined on me. Was he thinking he was about to get shot? He’s a human being like me. I wondered where his family was. I wondered why he had decided to join ISIS and choose a life of destruction rather than peace. Why was I choosing the path I had? Was it choice or fate?