Lahab Hannna, 32, stands in the small portion of a church hall in Amman, Jordan where her family sleeps after fleeing Islamic State militants in Iraq.

CNS PHOTO | BARB FRAZE

Lahab Hannna, 32, stands in the small portion of a church hall in Amman, Jordan where her family sleeps after fleeing Islamic State militants in Iraq.

January 12, 2015
BARB FRAZE
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

AMMAN, Jordan – Every night, in the church hall that Lahab Hanna shares with her husband, three children and 47 other people, her middle daughter makes a scene.

Hanna, 32, said her children do not understand why they had to move from the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Qaraqosh and Ainkawa to their small space in a church hall in Amman. The children do not know the details of when her husband was kidnapped for eight days.

They just know they have lost their friends, left their school, and now share a small kitchen and two toilets with all the other Iraqi refugees in the room. They share three mattresses among six people, and families take turns cooking.

Hanna, a Chaldean Catholic, said her middle daughter, age nine, is struggling most.

"She's blaming me, she's telling me every night, 'You are the one who brought us here,'" said Hanna. "Can you imagine how difficult it is to have your daughter or son blame you for this?"

Hanna said she has no answers for her two daughters, ages nine and 11, and her son, age seven, but she knew they could not stay in their home as the Islamic State group advanced across northern Iraq last summer. She also acknowledged that everyone in the room is in a similar situation.

It is "really painful for me that they lost their education," she said of her children, especially her daughters. "They are really clever girls and had high scores."

Although the girls are preteens, "They are talking to me as if they are big girls, sometimes they become aggressive . . . just because of what they have been through," she said.

"My biggest fear is the future of my kids – what will happen to them," Hanna said. "I think about them, day and night."