Yazidi Women's Futbol / by Maranie Staab

The Yazidi young women’s futbol team practices once a week at a turf field several miles from the Bajad Kandala displacement camp. Though collectively they can only afford the $20 needed for truck rental and fuel to practice a few times a month that hasn’t stopped them from embracing and excelling at the sport. In August 2014 these young women and thousands of others fled Sinjar when ISIS attacked the city. For the past 4.5 years they’ve all called a tent within the camp “home” — if and/or when they’ll ever be able to leave remains a question mark. I use the words “resilience” and “hope” with reservation as they’re often cliche, but here they’re the two I find most fitting.

The media has done a pretty good job of ensuring many have but one kind of image that comes to mind when we hear the word “refugee” — though the realities of injustice and hardship should never be diminished it’s important that we, as photographers and journalists, preserve the dignity of these individuals by doing our best to communicate a more complete story. These young women are but one example of the other half of the story.