my father told me
A year after the liberation of Mosul, Iraq's boys find themselves in a series of dead ends: separated from family members, rejected from the economy, and at risk for recruitment.
Boys like Ahmad Shaker, who was separated from his family in the final days of the assault on Mosul's Old City, used as a human shield by ISIS. He now lives in an orphanage.
Or those like Saqer, barely born when ISIS takes over, who still has nightmares nearly every night.
Boys like Dilshad, kidnapped by ISIS from Sinjar and taken to Syria to live as a slave, finally bought back by his uncle years later. Boys like him have little access to services. Where do these boys go from here?
The lucky ones like Ali, who lost his arm in the battle, still have their families to support them, and homes waiting for them.
But for children of ISIS - boys like Mohammad living in a camp where Iraqi soldiers regularly incite him to fight them and call him "son of a terrorist". What place is there for them in post-ISIS Iraq?
Reported for the Pacific Standard with support from the James W. Foley Foundation Middle East Reporting Grant by the Ground Truth Project. Listen to the radio version of this story here.