Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants” made a big splash—and rightly so—in The Atlantic today for its extensive exploration of the Islamic terror group’s roots and motives.Readers interested in the subject might want to consider as a companion piece Rasha Al Aqeedi’s story on life inside the Islamic State from the latest print issue of The American Interest. Aqeedi, a former resident of Mosul who still has extensive contacts there, draws a heart-wrenching sketch of what life is like under the Caliphate:
Alas, after the fall of the city, Manar, like every other female, has been forced to wear a full burqa. This outfit really does cramp one’s style. “Were we nude before? What was wrong with our clothes?” exclaims Manar, as her voice register shoots upward. “Nothing of our skin was exposed. Must we look like portable garbage bags for Allah to be content with us? How will I practice medicine? So that’s it? Everything I worked hard for and planned is gone?” She absolutely breaks my heart. This young, brilliant, and dedicated woman once so passionate about life is asking questions no one appears able to answer.
Aqeedi covers topics from how to heat your home when you’re under an Iraqi-Kurdish embargo to intellectual resistance movements within the city. We highly recommend you read the whole thing.