KARBARTO, Kurdistan Region — Children have been displaced from the Yezidi homeland of Shingal because of the Islamic State (ISIS) group since August 2014. Some of these girls are finding ballet lessons a welcome relief to the monotony of camp life.
"I am very excited to perform this dance, which is different from ours, but it is really great," said one of the ballet students.
Elissa from the US NGO Greater Change is their instructor. So far 20 children have learned ballet.
"I take [a ballet] course and also teach my friends. I taught them and made them happy," Nasi, an IDP.
All the residents of Kabarto camp are from Shingal – 60 percent are Yazidis, the rest are Muslims, about 10 Arab and two Turkmen families also reside there.
The Kurdistan Region continues to host some 1.2 million IDPs and Syria refugees.
Shingal is a disputed area in Iraq that is claimed by both the Iraqi federal and Kurdistan regional governments.
Displaced people Shingal complain that they cannot return until there are adequate services and security in the war-ravaged area.
Reporting by Mehdi Faraj