The orphans of Alqosh
An intimate and in-depth photo essay looking at the impact of war on two Iraqi Christian orphans, Milad Hani 9 and Wissam Hani 11, who fled the ISIS advance on Alqosh in early August. Born In Baghdad after the fall of Saddam, their lives have been buffeted by one conflict after another. Now, after having lived with their uncle in Erbil for a few months, they find themselves with no other options but living in an orphanage on the edge of the front line back in Alqosh. We go and meet them to try and understand more about the conflict and displacement crisis through the eyes of two children.
15/08/2014. Erbil, Iraq. Iraqi-Christian orphan brothers Milad (left) and Wassam are seen in at the house in Ainkawa where they are staying with their uncle. 18/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. A note from Wassam to his uncle Salam, "Lord, I give my soul and body completely to you to hold." PLEASE GET ANWAR TO TRANSLATE THIS 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Salam asks his nephew Milad if he is enjoying the music he is listening to in the garden of their house in Ainkawa, Erbil. 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Wassam (top) and Milad watch an animation on their uncle Salam's laptop in their cousin Alin's room. 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Milad and Wassam's uncle Salam (left) prepares to take the brothers out for a walk to buy snacks. Milad (centre) is impatient, Salam says, "My son, I said we are going in a minute, slow down!" 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Wassam (right) and his brother Milad (left) visit their uncle Amir (centre) at his tailoring shop in Ainkawa. Wassam wants to visit the shop because his uncle works alone there, and because he would like to learn about tailoring; Milad goes because he wants to be with his brother. 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Wassam irons a pair of trousers at his uncle Amir's tailoring shop in Ainkawa. Wassam wants to visit the shop as his uncle works alone, and because he would like to learn about tailoring. 21/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Coat-hangers and a picture of Jesus Christ are seen on the wall of Wassam and Milad's uncle Amir's tailoring shop in Ainkawa. 30/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Milad (right) listens to his aunt Susan speak to her husband Amir by phone, as he buys chicken for a farewell party being held for the brothers. Milad and Wassam will return to the orphanage in Alqosh the next day and start the new school year. 30/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Wassam (centre sitting) prepares a barbecue during a farewell party for he and his brother Milad. Milad and Wassam will return to the orphanage in Alqosh the next day and start the new school year. 10/30/14. Erbil, Iraq.
eating time in goodbye party Milad standing up to tell some thing to his Uncle "Amir Uncle this food so tasty when the food in orphanage is not like this I will come back here ok?" 31/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. At the end of the farewell party Wassam (left) and Milad (right), hug Willaim, a family friend, as they say goodbye to him. 10/31/14. Erbil, Iraq.
At early morning Suzan spook to Wassam and Milad before they leaving, She said "Now you are going back to Alqosh and please be good with School and keep study well and be good on the orphanage". 31/10/14. Erbil, Iraq. Milad waves goodbye to his uncle Amir (left) and aunt Susan from inside his uncle Salam's car. 31/10/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam (left) walks ahead of his uncle Salam as they walk through the gates of the orphanage, part of the Virgin Mary Monastery in Alqosh. 31/10/14. Alqosh, Iraq. father Yousif (left sitting), the manager of the orphanage, welcomes Milad (centre) and Wassam (second left) back to Alqosh. He asks what they did during their holiday. 31/10/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Iraqi-Christian orphan Wassam sits on his bed in the orphanage dormitory he shares with 8 other orphans, 31/10/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad (second right) and Wassam (centre) eat lunch at the monastery. 31/10/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Alqosh is seen from the Rabban Hermizd Monastery. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam (centre right, yellow shirt) raises his hand to answer a question at the Alqosh School. Three of the children from the orphanage currently study at the school, which was founded in 1926. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Their day at school over, Wassam (centre, green trousers) and Milad (right, blue trousers) run for the bus that will take them back to the orphanage. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad rests on a chair in the hallway of the orphanage after playing with his friends. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad lays on his bed as Wassam (left) and some of the 8 orphans they share a room with tidy their dormitory. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam (right) speaks to a another orphan during a session of studying and drawing held at a classroom in the orphanage during the evening. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. A drawing by Wassam, he says the picture depicts two friends. The character on the right is named Johnson and is crying because his friend Wassam (left) is about to step on a mine as he collects water for flowers from a well. 15/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassan (right bottom) and Milad (left) play with brothers Christian (second left) and Kevin (top) in a corridor at the Alqosh Orphanage. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam puts on his socks as he gets up in the morning. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam helps Kevin put on a pair of trousers in the room where the orphans keep their clothes. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad (right) reads a book in his bed in the dormitory. The children are allowed to stay in bed for longer because it is a Sunday. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Birds are seen in an enclosure at the orphanage. Father Yousif looks after the birds and teaches the orphans about caring for them. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam (centre) and Milad (right) play outside in a courtyard of the Monastery located next to the orphanage. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam cleans off his best trousers after playing with other orphans in a courtyard next to the orphanage. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad tries on the robes, to show his friends, that he wears when serving as an alter boy during Sunday services. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Watched by a friend, Milad (left) prays inside the Der Saida Church. Every Sunday Milad helps Father Jobrail, a priest in the church at the Monastery, with his service. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad (left) and a friend help Father Jobrail, a priest in the church at the Monastery, with his robes. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Wassam (front, second right) attends a service with orphans and residents of Alqosh in the monastery's Der Saida Church. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. Milad (left) holds and candle a Sunday service for orphans and residents of Alqosh in the monastery's Der Saida Church. 16/11/14. Alqosh, Iraq. 10 year old Iraqi-Christian orphan Milad is pictured in the Virgin Mary Monastery's Der Saida Church where he serves as an alter boy during Sunday services.