As the Battle for Mosul neared the six-month mark, young Mosul girls who fled Islamic State rule gathered in the Kurdish town of Koya on April 7 to play a soccer match.
This video, shared by UNICEF Iraq, shows some of the match and features Mary, a 13-year-old girl who fled Mosul while under IS rule.
“I can play because I have confidence. Football is good for everyone. It’s not just for men, it’s for women, too,” she said.
Young Kurdish locals joined in the match and gathered along the sidelines, cheering on the internally displaced girls and refugees.
The Iraqi government said that at the start of the October 16 Mosul offensive last year, more than 392,000 people in Mosul city and the surrounding areas were displaced. As of March 30, just over five months later, 300,000 people remained displaced.