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Khadijah Kamara: Dealing with War

Khadijah Kamara learnt that her son Ibrahim was in Syria when he called home in February 2014 to tell her. She hung up immediately.

Khadijah is no stranger to the trauma of war. When her son Ibrahim was just a baby, she escaped Sierra Leone’s civil war with her life.

The civil war which took place between 1991 and 2002 was one of the most brutal wars in post-independence Africa, resulting in the death of 70,000 people and the displacement of one million.

For me, psychologically, I hate even the topic, because I’ve always hated ideas of war,” Khadijah said. “I came from Sierra Leone and I came from a civil war that was really really bad. One week, they attacked the town that we used to live. Ibrahim was on my shoulder, running, and there were bullets behind us. I cannot think of anything close to violence.

The devastation she witnessed drove her to managing a charity in Brighton to help victims of the Sierra Leonean war in healing and rebuilding.

Little did she know her own son would be the cause of devastation at the expense of the Syrian people.

Although Ibrahim Kamara started coming home late every night and changing his rhetoric, she never thought his new-found obsession with “helping Syria” was a serious pursuit.

Khadijah was so numb by the revelation that her son had joined Al-Nusra Front that she was close to disowning him. She found out about his death on social media when a fellow combatant, Amer Deghayes, Mobdro posted on a Facebook page that Ibrahim had died, stating, “What an honour.”

Though she did not know their identities, Khadijah said that those who brainwashed her son were “cowards” who God would judge between on the Day of Resurrection.

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