Aliya Abdul Haqq, one of the hundred or so TT citizens currently stranded in the Al Hol camp in Syria, recently told two foreign journalists that life inside the ISIS caliphate was “irie” – a Jamaican expression for nice or cool. Abdul Haqq, 34, is the sister of Tariq Abdul Haqq, a former lawyer and Commonwealth Games boxing finalist who traded his enviable life in Trinidad for war and death in Syria.
Abdul Haqq was interviewed alongside Abbey Greene, 33, who is from Barbados and was married to Abdul Haqq’s brother Tariq.
If you want to know what an unrepentant female ISIS member sounds like, you could do worse than listen to the Popular Front podcast interview with these two sisters. It makes for spine-tingling listening, not because the women sound like bloodcurdling monsters, but because of the cold and carefree detachment with which they talk about the genocidal violence of the Islamic State.
And if you’re a proud Trini you’ll no doubt be disconcerted to hear that Abdul Haqq doesn’t share your national pride, and is sharply critical of her country of birth.
Abdul Haqq and Greene travelled to Syria in November 2014 with their respective husbands, Osyaba Muhammad and Tariq Abdul Haqq. While 240 TT citizens travelled to Syria between 2013 and 2016, Greene, to my knowledge, is the only Bajan to have gone to join ISIS.