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Melek & Kreesh: Best Friends Who Couldn’t Be Separated By War

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Nine-year-old Melek Tariq Nooreldeen is too shy to talk, too wrapped up in playing with Kreesh, a ginger cat that she has raised since it was abandoned by its mother. Her sister explains that Melek and Kreesh are inseparable, even sharing a bed.

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So when Kreesh went missing on Tuesday morning, Melek was inconsolable.
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Melek and her family fled the village al-Shaymaa, south east of Mosul, 10 days ago, after two mortar rounds hit their home. They carried what they could, running in panic towards the Iraqi army.
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The army initially sheltered the family in Shahrezad, before moving them to the IDP camp in Khazir. Melek’s sister explains that Kreesh is dearly loved, especially as the pet-loving family left behind their puppy. Melek keeps asking to return to find him.
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Her mother and father (pictured above) yesterday made the kind of rash promise one does to a crying child – they would find Kreesh. Happily, the friends were indeed reunited, and Kreesh was fed her favourite meal of tomatoes, cake and milk.

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