Mostafa’s Story | Center for Victims of Torture

Mostafa’s Story

There were hundreds of dead bodies on the floor.

When my nephew disappeared, we looked for him everywhere, finally going to the morgue. There were hundreds of people looking for their sons and loved ones. Because of the crowds, the authorities took pictures of dead bodies for parents to identify.

I was able to identify my nephew in a picture, and then I went into the refrigerated morgue. I was shocked. There were hundreds of dead bodies on the floor; the fridges were not enough to hold all the bodies. That was a trauma for me. He was my nephew and my friend.

The situation in Iraq was ominous. At the beginning of the war, I was detained. A friend of mine who was connected with Americans helped me. The Americans rescued me. Still, the threats continued. My friend and my older brother were detained and tortured. My brother fled to Jordan. He called me every day and said to leave Iraq.

Thousands of Iraqis have been through the same – they have lost people and still know nothing. I was lucky to find my nephew. Some do not find their loved ones.

I left and came to Jordan. A friend here told me about CVT - he said for those who have been tortured, CVT brings good things – it helps. So I went for counseling.

At CVT I found family. I wanted to distract myself. CVT opened a lot of paths for me. When I came and looked at others’ stories, my story didn’t feel as bad. I was treated with compassion and optimism – this changed how I felt.

The care at CVT – it’s like you’re reformatting yourself.

Today my life is good. I feel better on the inside knowing that an organization cares. I did not expect to find an organization like CVT, and this encouraged me to look for others. Today I volunteer at organizations so I can help others. There is a Chinese proverb that is meaningful to me: Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.



Name and some details have been changed for safety and to protect confidentiality.

Funding for CVT’s work in Jordan is provided by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.



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