Ahmad Mousa Qasem | Awaiting Their Dead
Country of origin: Iraq
Project location: Iraq
Program: Arab Documentary Photography Program
On June 12, 2014, an estimated 1,700 Iraqi Air Force cadets were slaughtered by ISIS in Tikrit. Almost a year later, forensic teams discovered mass graves near the massacre site, containing dozens of corpses of the cadets. The ongoing investigations are continuing to determine the identities of the bodies and the fates of the others.
Since the massacre took place, families of the cadets have tried in vain to get an answer on what happened to their sons; they staged protests and demanded to have more information. With no bodies to grieve for, some keep the hope that their loved ones are still alive.