A 21-year-old Yazidi girl who was kept as a slave in the house of the Islamic State (Isis) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has told a Kurdish news website that the Caliph was gentle and spoke to her mostly in English.
Aveen (name changed), a former Yazidi slave, was abducted by Isis from Sinjar near Mosul, Iraq last year. She was kept as a slave along with two other girls in a house belonging to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the girl told Rudaw.
The girl, who escaped from Raqqa in November, was helped by strangers before she could contact her family who then, with the help of Kurdistan Regional Government, brought her to Iraq.
Aveen told the Kurdish news website that she, along with another girl who had similar 'blue eyes and blond hair' were chosen to serve the Caliph. The girl said that while she knew she was living in the house of an important Isis commander, who was also the Caliph, on parts she was unaware how important he was.
"One evening, they announced that the caliph is coming. At that time, we had no idea who the caliph was. We saw a man with a long beard arrive in the room and look around. When he went out, they called me with two other girls and took us away," she said.
Unlike other accounts, which portray Baghdadi as a brutal dreaded leader, Aveen said that he was always gentle to her. "Baghdadi is a very calm person and had a very different life. He read a lot and spoke to me in English," she told Rudaw.
"He never raised his voice," she added.
Besides the two Yazidi girls, there was an old woman and an Arab woman, believed to be Baghadi's wife, and two children between the age of 10 and 14.
Aveen attempted her first escape mere days after being in captivity at Baghdadi's house. "We escaped, but we were not aware how close we were to the Isis bases. We were caught and transferred to a prison," she said.
Aveen says she saw a British and an American woman in the prison but did not know then that they were journalists. Later Baghdadi asked the Isis fighters to bring the girl back to his house.
But soon Aveen got a second chance when one evening Baghdadi and his guards left the house. "One evening, Baghdadi and his guards left the home suddenly and I felt like there was no one at home. I went out a window and I kept on walking until I reached a village."