Islamic State on the Ropes – Two Paths Cross in the Ruins of Raqqa

Islamic State on the Ropes Two Paths Cross in the Ruins of Raqqa

When Islamic State conquered Raqqa in 2014, Fadi al-Hadi fled to Germany while Nadja Ramadan abandoned her life near Frankfurt to marry an Islamist in the IS stronghold. Now that the city is about to get liberated, the two are trying to retrace their steps.

Alice Martins / Der Spiegel

Everywhere in the sun-drenched villages and towns of northern Syria, in the camps and the ruins where they have been living for months, or even years, the refugees from Raqqa are eagerly awaiting the chance to return. They gush about evenings spent in the “Casino,” as they call the bars along the banks of the Euphrates. They speak longingly of their homes and their gardens, as though they had once lived in the Garden of Eden. It’s a lot of longing for a relatively unspectacular place.

Two brothers have brought grapes from their garden in al-Meshlab, the first Raqqa neighborhood to be liberated, all the way to Tal Abyad, located 100 kilometers away. “We can’t return yet, but we were able to check if the house is still standing,” one of them explains. The grapes taste like — grapes. But they are served as though they were a rare delicacy.


Categories: The Muslim Times

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