Aras Abid Akram was 19 years old during the attack. Prior to the attack, he worked as a retailer selling drinks imported from Baghdad. He lost ten members of his family in the attack, including his parents and eight siblings. He was transferred to Iran for treatment and stayed there for 6 months. Upon returning to Iraq, he had to stay in a complex prepared by the Saddam Regime for people who survived in the attack in Halabja. He still suffers from lung disabilities and eye disease.
Soiba Mohammed Saeed Qadir was 35 years old at the time of the attack on Halabja, married with eight children. While having a late breakfast, she heard the plane begin massive bombing of the city with high explosives. She and her family sought shelter in a neighbor's basement, during the massive, non-stop bombing with chemical weapons. The poison gas started to affect her, burning her skin and eyes. She was unable to breathe, and started to hemorrhage from her mouth, eyes, and nose. Most of her children would die around her. She eventually lost consciousness and when she regained it, only her baby, three children, and her husband had survived. Today, her medical situation is so dire that the authorities, who have only limited capacity in offering treatment to the victims, do not provide any fundamental medical treatment for her. These authorities have decided not to waste the meager medicine and treatment that is available on someone who does not have the chance of surviving for long. Her two oldest surviving children also suffer from serious psychological problems and have since disappeared.
Mardin Mahmood Fatah was 4 years old on the day of the attack. She was severely burned and lost her vision because of the poisonous gases. She was hospitalized in Tehran, Iran for more than three months and lost her consciousness for a period of time. She was taken in by a family in Iran and lived with them for ten years. After the father of that family died, she was informed that she was not his daughter, and not part of the family. She returned to Iraq to search for her true family and later found out that her true mother and brother were killed by the chemical weapons in the attack. Her father, who had married another woman and had a new family, refused to bring her into his household. As the education she received in Iran was fundamentally different than the studies taught in the Kurdish Region, she was required to start high school again. She is currently pursuing her college education but is suffering from extreme post-traumatic stress.
Gashaw Murad Mohammed Yousif was only 12 years old when the airstrikes on Halabja began. The home Gashaw and her family were living in had a basement where they hid throughout the day. In the middle of the night, her father sent her and her four brothers away, so that they might survive. Gashaw remembers crying and asking her father why he was sending them alone. He replied, “You go first, and we will come after you later.” After a day and night on the road, they arrived in Iran where they stayed for two days. Gashaw and her brothers waited for their parents to get there, but they never did. Instead, her uncle arrived and informed them that their aunt had gone into labor and her parents had stayed to help deliver the baby. Her parents, aunt, and newly born cousin were all killed in the attack.
Eventually, Gashaw was able to reunited with her sister and grandfather at another camp. When they returned to Iraq in 1991, all they found there was the ruins of their home. Gashaw worked tirelessly to earn enough money, not only to rebuild their house, but also their lives. She was able to provide for her brothers and made sure all four of them graduated college. Having overcome so much since the attack, Gashaw is now a proud student at Halabja Private Institute of Computer Science.