Is it our fate to be the sons of this simple and small town located on the Euphrates River, which many people had not heard about it for so long, even the sons of my country?
It’s Raqqa, my city. I look like it in it’s tenderness and simplicity such as the neighbouring Euphrates river. I am 21 years old and my name is “Furat”, I went out from Raqqa to areas controlled by the Syrian regime to follow my study with a part of my family, while the others stayed inside the city in order to preserve our house, which is all we have.
A few number of girls were able to go out from Raqqa in order to complete their study. We were five female students, three of us got to know each other during the preparatory stage. Batool and I were together since the third primary grade. We lived unforgettable days, we grew up together, we laughed and enjoyed our childhood and adolescence, we shared the joys and the concerns.
Days have passed, we moved away from each other, and we met again on Facebook, circumstances and conditions have changed but our relationship did not change. Farah was married to a relative and stayed with him in Turkey, Lama got married and came up with her husband to Europe and settled in Germany, Rahaf got married her cousin and moved to live with him in Saudi Arabia. But the great shock was with Batool, the childhood friend and the closest one to my heart, she stayed in Raqqa and did not get married. I surprised in the begining when I saw her new account on Facebook, she changed her name to become “Um Al Fidaa Ansariyah”, and she put a new photo for her, carrying a rifle and rising her index finger and covered with blackness.
I talked to her, at first I did not pay attention for her name, but the nature of her words made me stop and look carefully to what published inside her page. After greeting I noticed that religiosity was clear in her words, for a moment I did not realize that I’m speaking to Batool, so I checked her page, “Um Al Fidaa Ansariyah”, one of the Caliphate’s girls as she introduced herself, a researcher for martyrdom, most of her girlfriends are from Tunisian and Moroccan nationalities, her posts on Facebook are Quran verses and prophet sayings and sayings of Ibn Taymiyyah, Shamil Basayev, Khattab, and Osama bin Laden, in addition to threatening messages to Alawites, Christians, Magi and the infidels.
I spoke to her again, and I had convinced myself that this account and these Posts are only for camouflage and security considerations for being a resident inside Raqqa. She began to blame me because I’m studying with men in the university, saying that is Haram (forbidden), so I have to stay at home and go only to exams. She also blame me because I’m not wearing the niqab (veil), although she well
that I wore veil before her, and my clothes are more decent than her.
I was stunned, whenever I talk to her I was hit by the shock more, then I was surprised that she temporarily worked in the Office of Education affiliated to ISIS, so I was afraid if I talked something bad, it maybe cause a harm to my brothers who remained in Raqqa. Batool changed, now Moroccan girls are her best friends, those who I’m afraid even to look to what they are publishing on Facebook. I began a new chapter to identify my new old friend who aspiring for a “martyrdom operation”.
Through the conversation I understood that she wanted to be one of the women of “Hesba Battalion”, but her brothers who are also supporters of ISIS rejected that, because they thought that this battalion are not not fit to girls. She told me about that, and she had a conviction that ISIS represents the real state of Islam, and the errors of ISIS are individual errors and we must not generalize.
Now, her great ambition has become to get married to one of members of the organization, and exclusively from immigrants members in order to move with him in his eternal jihad. The idea which rejected also by the advocacy family for the organization, although they benefited from ISIS where their financial condition has changed, they are now living a wealthy living, the Internet is present all the time in their house. Batool is no longer my friend because she became “Um Al Fidaa Ansariyah”.