A Swedish teenager has described how she found herself living in Mosul under the rule of the Islamic State group after an odyssey of train and road trips from her home town with her boyfriend.
Marlin Stivani Nivarlain, 15, was rescued from the northern Iraqi city earlier this month by counter-terrorism forces of the Kurdish region of Iraq, after what Kurdish leaders said was an appeal from Swedish authorities.
In a video interview released on Wednesday by Kurdistan 24.net, the youngster says she knew “nothing” about Islam or what IS stood for when she set off for its territory with her boyfriend from their hometown of Boras.
“I met my boyfriend in the middle of 2014,” she says. “He started to look at Isis videos and speak about them. I don’t know anything about Islam or Isis so I did not know what he meant.
“Then he said he wanted to go to Isis and I said okay because I didn’t know nothing about Islam or Isis.”
From this point, Marlin describes how the two made their way across the continent.
“So we started to travel on 31 May 2015, took the train from Sweden to Denmark, then to Germany… from Germany to Hungary through Slovakia, then to Serbia and from there we get a lift on the road – a man took us to Bulgaria – then a bus to Turkey and then a bus to Gaziantep, and after this we crossed into Syria.
“Isis took us in a bus with some other women and men to Mosul and after that I get my house.”
However, she said that life was hard in Mosul and despite getting a house there were none of the comforts she enjoyed in her home country.
“In the house we didn’t have anything – no electricity, no water, nothing and it was totally different to Sweden. In Sweden we have everything.
“It was a hard life. When I got a phone I contacted my mum and said I wanted to go home. She contacted the authorities.”
At this point in the video, Marlin appears to suggest she is reading from a statement, as she says she cannot “see” what to say next, and the video cuts.
Marlin finishes by saying she was looking forward to returning to her home country.
“Now I am in Erbil I would like to thank the Security Council of the Kurdistan regime and I want to thank them to send me home to Sweden and meet my family again and have a happy life.”[Source: Middle East Eye]