Sold in the ISIS slave markets, these two teenagers fought to survive

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DOHUK, IRAQ – She could be your daughter: 15 years, long hair to the waist, wearing jeans and sneakers, video chat with her best friend.

Dilveen and Dalal haven't seen each other in five years and are enthusiastically planning their next meeting.

It is such a typical adolescent scene that you forget, for a moment, the horrors that have survived. Two best friends, separated by thousands of miles; Dilveen lives in Canada and Dalal in the north of Iraq, but united in their agony. Both survived genocide.

It was August 4, 2014, in a systematic wave of terror, the Islamic State group led a well-orchestrated campaign to exterminate the Yazidis, a religious minority inhabiting northern Iraq. The jihadist fighters crossed the village after the village massacred the Yazidis. Within a few days, 10,000 Yazidis were killed.

Young women and girls were mostly spared, but for a fate almost worse than death. Seven thousand were gathered to be sold as sex slaves among ISIS militants. Dilveen, who at the time was 10 years old and Dalal, 13, was no exception.

A Canadian charity, One Free World International, he has spent the last five years saving the Yazidis from ISIS slavery and helping those who have been granted asylum to adapt to life in Canada.

"Girls [were] divided into three categories: very beautiful, medium beauty and little beauty. Virgin and not virgin. The price of the Yazidi girls was from two thousand to four thousand US dollars, "said Rev. Majed el Shafie describing the ISIS slave markets.

"[They were forced to wear make-up, wear sexy clothes and walk in front of ISIS fighters like a fashion show."

In that market, Dilveen and Dalal clung and made the promise of never giving up.

"I was so scared because my mother [wasn't] with me or my father. Just me, Dalal and a lot of Yazidi girls, "said Dilveen." I told them I can't leave Dalal. Kill me, but I can't leave Dalal. They told me, "If you don't leave, we'll both kill you."

Dalal was sold to an ISIS fighter and Dilveen was sold to a man old enough to be his grandfather. What they have endured is a nightmare in a nightmare.

Dilveen managed to escape after three months and arrived with her family in Canada in 2016. Dalal was enslaved for four excruciating years.

In August 2019, Dilveen returned to Iraq for an emotional homecoming on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the ISIS genocide of the Yazidi people.

In a remote camp for internally displaced people, Dilveen and Dalal were finally reunited.

After a long embrace of tears, he told W5: "She is my best friend. She looks like my sister. I love her so much. We always want to be together".

Watch W5's The Survivors this Saturday at 19:00 EDT.

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