Between 2014 and 2017, ISIS banned children’s toys in their occupied cities, labeling toys as forms of idolatry. Dolls, action figures, teddy bears and other toys with faces or eyes were forbidden. ISIS’s brutal campaigns across Iraq were intended to crush the hope of adults and children alike.
“Children were oppressed (under Islamic State), they didn’t leave anything they didn’t ban,” a father named Hassan told Reuters. “Everyone was oppressed young and old.”
After the fall of ISIS in 2017, Children’s toys were again allowed, and toy shops reopened to sell teddy bears, dolls, and other toys. Reuters reported that “Parents say buying these toys for their children will help them move on after three years of war and terror.”
However, in ISIS’s wake, many families were displaced and forced to flee their homes. Many children still feel the effects of ISIS’s attempts to destroy their hope and happiness.
“Children are traumatized; [ISIS] ruined schools, they ruined toys, [children’s] lives are hell,” another parent, named Taha, also told Reuters.
For the Martyrs is traveling to Iraq to bring toys and Christmas presents to children who are still suffering after ISIS.
Will you help make Operation Christmas to Iraq possible? Click here to learn more.
Image: Acquired from this Borgen Project article: “10 Things You Should Know About Refugees in Iraq.”