“One bullet plus one bullet equals? Two bullets!” This is how the children of the small Iraqi village of Jaraf weretaught mathematics during two years of jihadist rule.
On Saturday, a neighbour opened the gate of their school for the first time since the Islamic State (IS) was forced out by Iraqi forces last week. The children took over the building and were soon playing football with soldiers in the main hall and jubilantly ripping up their IS textbooks.
“They brought new books, all of them Islamic,” said Sanaa Ahmed, recounting the time in 2014 when IS took over her village south of Mosul. “There used to be pictures in our books. They changed that, they said it was forbidden,” said Sanaa, a lively 10-year-old wearing a pink woolly dress and a stack of white bracelets on both wrists.
“They brought us pictures of little girls completely covered, with the niqab (full veil) and even socks and gloves. I don’t know how they wouldn’t suffocate in there,” she said.