After years of shame and disappointment, none of the three said they could imagine ever going back, even if the Islamic State falls. The Raqqa that was their home only exists in their memories.
“Who knows when the fighting will stop?” Asma said. “Syria will become like Palestine; every year, people think: ‘Next year, it will end. We will be free.’ And decades pass. Syria is a jungle now.”
“Even if one day things are all right, I will never return to Raqqa,” Aws said. “Too much blood has been spilled on all sides — I’m not talking just about ISIS, but among everyone.”