Hacking Hunger – Episode 15: Reuniting After Escaping ISIS

Published December 16, 2016

The city of Mosul has become the latest frontline in the war against ISIS and hunger in Iraq. Tens of thousands of families have fled the violence, reuniting with food and loved ones after years of separation.

Picture a wide expanse of desert, where hundreds of families are lugging bags filled with whatever they could carry from their homes. Out of the crowd a father emerges, his eyes wide, searching the crowd for someone he hasn’t seen in nearly three years. Suddenly he spots someone in the sea of people and cries out. They run to each other, tears streaming down their faces.

“I’ve never encountered such an emotional reunion between two people. They only way he could describe it was as though he’s been thirsty for nearly three years and finally someone has given him a drink.”

In this episode of Hacking Hunger, M.J. talks to Alex Murdoch, a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) communications officer in Iraq, about documenting the human experience of this exodus — from the heartbreak of continual displacement to the joys of unexpected reunion.