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Islam Maytat : a Moroccan militant widow who escaped ISIS

Islam Maytat, the story of a young Moroccan woman who ended up married to an ISIS militant. Three years after her traumatic journey, she spoke to AFP about the terror she lived in Syria.

Islam Maytat with her children after escaping ISIS./Ph. DR
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After spending three years as a widow living under ISIS rule in Syria, Islam, a 23 year-old Moroccan has been able to escape terror in March 2017. 20 minutes reports that the young woman was able to flee ISIS’s northern stronghold of Raqqa to a territory controlled by the US-backed alliance.

In 2014, Islam Maytat met a British man of Afghani descent through social media. The young girl, who dreamt of becoming a fashionista, two months later, married the man without realizing that her marriage was a ticket to the most dangerous cities in the world. «Meeting my husband was one of the things that motivated me to study fashion design in Europe, but I had no luck. Everything went wrong,» Islam told AFP news agency.

After marrying Ahmed Khalil in Morocco, Islam Maytat flew to Dubai and then to Afghanistan to meet her husband’s family. Eventually, she realized that her partner was lying and that he had a hidden agenda. He forced her to wear a certain type of clothes and forbade her from wearing makeup.

After their trip to Afghanistan, Islam was eager to go to London and start her career as a stylist, nevertheless, Ahmed proposed to travel first to Istanbul convincing Islam that it is better to go to the UK through Turkey. At the Turkish airport, a man drove the newly-married couple  to Gaziantep, a city in the western part of Turkey near Syria where they stayed in a house full of couples from different countries. «I asked them ‘why are you here?‘ And they told me they were there to migrate to the caliphate in Syria», Maytat said. «I began to cry. It was two weeks after the caliphate was declared and the women kept saying ‘we are going to the land of the caliphate, the land of the Muslims,’ and they were all happy», Islam recalled.

Married to 3 extremists and mother to 2 children

Six months after their wedding, the couple made their way to northern Syria settling down in the city of Manbij. While pregnant with her first child, Islam’s husband was killed in combat leaving her alone in a land where she knew no one. The young woman, afterwards, got married to an Indian man but quickly divorced. She told AFP that she married another Indian djihadist who was killed soon after she gave birth to another girl. After three years in Syria, Islam managed to flee with the wife of another militant.

«I still don’t know what to do with my life», Islam said. «I hope to return to Morocco with both of my children, but I don’t know if I ll have a future or not there», Islam Maytat concluded.

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