Women of Raqqa: ‘We are dead but we are still breathing’

Every aspect of a vivid life disappeared in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqa after “Islamic State” (“IS”) took over. Joy, happiness and liveliness were replaced by darkness. The clothes of men and women, the walls, the buildings, the banners: they are all dark now.

After IS imposed its version of Sharia law, women were banned from wearing anything other than black. All women in Raqqa became alike. You might not even recognize your own sister or mother on the street. Even perfumes and talking loudly in public are punishable offenses for women.

A 25-year-old woman – who requested to be referred to as “Hala” – spoke with DW about her life in this broken city, and how she’s faring under the rule of IS.