Culture

Iraqi play portrays the suffering of Yazidis under ISIS

Iraq

A new Iraqi play portrays how Yazidi women suffered under ISIS' rule. "You have lived through this atmosphere and know what happened in your country and what happened to the daughters of your country," says one of the actors participating in the play.

In Iraq, a play has recently been performed that aims to portray the suffering of Yazidis under ISIS’ brutal rule. The play, which not only highlights the bitter stories of Yazidi women captured by ISIS but also their subsequent rejection by society, seeks to fearlessly bring these stories to the public and to reveal the reality that these women live in.

“The play is just one tale of ISIS’ barbaric oppression and the group’s persecution of women in general, whether towards Yazidis, Christians, or Muslims,” said one of the actresses participating in the play. “Through this work, the doctor [the playwright] wanted the world to see ISIS’ barbarism.”

The playwright, Dr. Nujoom Saleh, said that while she has not witnessed ISIS’ brutality towards women first-hand, she listened to the victim’s stories and wrote the screenplay for her play, “The Captives of Baghdad”, in order to show Iraqis the horrors that these women faced because they need to be understood by society.

When asked whether the play will make the viewers feel negative, Dr. Saleh said, “some viewers feel sad and get affected, but the goal of the play is to create positive energy that the viewers receive at the end of the play, which talks about how to deal with this reality.”

Authors, playwrights, artists, and actors throughout the country have attempted to document the militant organisation’s crimes in order to reveal their brutality to the world. “I am against all of them and their practices, their false Islam, and their despicable principles,” said an Iraqi actress. “We want to reveal from this great theatre some of the practices they have carried out against people and some of the dreams, groups, and souls that they have destroyed.”

Since the defeat of ISIS militarily in Iraq in December 2017, Iraqi artists have tried to retell the stories and horrors they witnessed through various art forms.

Earlier this year, an artist turned a former ISIS prison in the city of Fallujah into a museum commemorating the souls of those who were killed by the militant organisation, while revealing ISIS’ brutality.