Qayyara - the Aftermath
Qayyara is a village in the Nineveh plain near the Tigris river, by the Allied forces after two years under the I.S.
During the escape the Islamic State, to slow the advance of the Allied forces, has burned about a dozen oil wells on the road. The advance of international forces was it slowed (but not much), and many people now have strong respiratory problems, problems that are even more worrisome because the local hospital have no oxygen cylinders.
The city is more or less intact, the local sports hall is used by some unemployed as a mine for the extraction of bricks to be sold to those who can rebuild their homes, but in the periphery, where there was a brutal fight. In the suburb there's huge mass of ruins, in what is apparently a waste dump there are the graves of I.S., nameless corpses, buried under kg of waste which slowly resurface every time a stray dog goes in search of something to eat.
A big International N.G.O. denied me to visit their building and documenting their activities because, despite I had a press card, they didn't recognize on me as "independent journalist" and they said that these people don't want to be photographed, the only thing that I could see live of their activities it is a simple distribution of drinking water.
A young guy who speak English said me that I.S. punished him at the feet because he don't had the beard, the only activity that the Qayyaran people done in these years was stay at their homes.
Slowly, despite the myriad problems of the population, the smile is coming back slowly on their mouths, the return to normality passes through the school but also through the children ran at the vehicles of foreign journalists.
Around the only toy in the hands of children is toy weapons, Chinese plastic replicas of M16 with the red cap embraced with familiarity, like the adults.
Lot of people say that the war against Daesh is just the appetizer of that war will come later, the war of vengeance tribal and territorial claims.
Local teachers decided to restart the school as soon as possible, the first day of school, after two years under Daesh, were so many children with their few things, that the building cannot contain them all. The opening of the school is a strong signal but despite that, early school leaving it's still strong.