"He seemed really nice and our families got along well. Then things started to change and at a certain point I could no longer be myself. Everything I did was perceived as ‘wrong’ or ‘culturally unacceptable': the clothes I wore, my habits and even my childhood friendships. It was a difficult time and despite the fact that I didn’t love him, he insisted on moving on with the pre-arranged marriage. At a certain point I couldn’t take it anymore, I collected all my strength and said 'NO!'. That was the happiest day of my life."

(Baharka IDP Camp, Iraqi Kurdistan)

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"A judge."
"What's going to be the hardest part about being a judge?"
"I don't know."

Father: "Imagine I commit a crime. Now you have to judge whether I go to jail or not. What will you decide?"
"I will let you go, because I don't want to put you in jail."
Father: "That's not what law is about."
"But you will be free!"

(Kani Otman, Iraqi Kurdistan)

"What job would you have, if you could choose whatever you like?"
"Anything, as long as it is not the army."

(Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan)
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