Throughout the Middle East, ISIS (a group of Islamic militants) is targeting the non-Muslim citizens of the region and giving them an ultimatum: Convert to Islam, or suffer the fatal consequences. The group is especially brutal in their treatment of women—reports of rape and sex slavery have been coming out of ISIS prison camps.
The situation is so dire that international authorities are starting to pay attention. President Obama recently gave the signal to begin airstrikes over Iraq and Syria to retaliate against ISIS. As expected, among civilians, fear and turmoil are running rampant in the Middle East.
A group of 11 women are preparing to fight back against the terror that has swept their region. To do so, they have banned together in a Kurdish resistance army. Currently, the women are involved in intense sniper training at a military camp.
These women know the impact that ISIS has had on the region well—they've fled their homes in Iraq to Sinjar, an Iraqi town near the Syrian border. Many have been separated from family or loved ones. But joining this resistance group has renewed their spirit. Badrea Sado Sliman, a member of the resistance army, told The Telegraph:"Joining the units has changed my life. Daily life with girl fighters is so different [from the fear of fleeing the ISIS]."
What propels these women forward is a dedication to their religious identity, which is deeply intertwined with their homeland. As well, it is the thought of revenge against those who have taken so much that keeps them moving forward. Some of these women lost loved ones to the hands of ISIS—and it is that injustice that drives them to fight.
Nora Qaem Naser, a member of the 11-women group, lost her brother to ISIS. "From that time I've wanted to take up arms and fight them, she told The Telegraph. "Because of that I am not afraid to go and fight."
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I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.
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