Two days later we visited a school in East Mosul, and met with several teachers who, until a couple months ago, were forced to teach school the ISIS way. They echoed Mr. Mohammed's estimate: "[During ISIS's reign] this school had only 50-60 students. Now we have 700." Seriously, imagine going to a school with so few students, a single basketball team (including bench players) would take up a quarter of the population.
I also sat down with 11-year-old Abdulrahman, who prefers to go by the nickname "Abood." Which, honestly, even if he protested, I was going to call him that anyway.
Magenta Vaughn (Click Image For Full Size)
The kid is pretty damn awesome.
He spent almost two semesters as a student while ISIS ran his city, and he told us about the first day the mujahedeen (ISIS's fighters) came to speak to his class: "They wore Afghan clothes, like a long dress with a pistol around their waistband and bullets on their chest, an AK-47 on their back. Their beards were long, their hair was long." They mostly talked about killing people, which I'll cover in more detail, shortly. As a general rule though, Abood saw the ISIS guys more often outside of class than in it. "When they did the call for prayer they had a vehicle and would patrol, if they found someone not attending prayers they would hurt them."