Living under ISIS rule — and then escaping it
Mezar Matar’s witnessed ISIS fighters take over his hometown in the summer of 2013. He saw them violently enforce Sharia law, seize homes, close schools and stage elaborate public executions. He watched as they punished women for their clothes, flogged anyone on the streets during prayer times and beat people for smoking cigarettes. Matar saw ISIS arrest his friends, abduct his brother and recruit children to join its ranks.