The veiled woman thrust a Koran into her hands. ‘Follow me,’ she told Halo Kald, a 30-year-old Yazidi captive in Raqqa. It was Friday evening in the so-called capital of the Islamic State, and the men were praying. Was this a trap? The woman, seeing Halo’s hesitation, produced a phone from deep inside the folds of her chador.
Halo listened to a recording of a man’s voice in Kurmanji, the Kurdish dialect spoken by Yazidis. She followed. ‘The moment I heard the voice of Abdullah, who I’d spoken to secretly two weeks before, I knew this was our chance,’ Halo tells me. We are drinking sweet black tea in the shipping container she calls home.