The twin sisters SHIRIN (25) and NESRIN (25) are Yazidis. They once lived in Sindschar, a Yazidi-majority city close to the Syrian border in northern Iraq. When ISIS began committing genocide on the Yazidi people in 2014, the two sisters managed to escape to Dohuk  with their family, an autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Only their father was left behind in a hastily dug grave after ISIS had decapitated him. In Dohuk, the family made a decision with serious consequences that would determine the twins‘ fate: Shirin would stay with their younger sister and their grandmother in Dohuk, while Nesrin and their older sister would follow their brothers who had already escaped to Europe. Shirin starts working and helping others in the refugee camp as a self-taught nurse in Duhok. Her life is difficult. She desires to help people locally, especially the women who managed to escape ISIS captivity and experienced terrible things Shirin cannot understand why everyone is leaving. She says: “The war has destroyed not only the people but also their relationships. It has wounded hearts and love.

Nesrin is successful in her risky and dangerous escape to Europe. She now lives in Hannover, Germany. Nesrin’s German is very good, and she works in a C&A warehouse in Hannover. ” Nesrin can‘t understand why her sister remains and does not make her way to Germany, where it is safe and one can build a future.

Our film SHIRIN & NESRIN tells the story of broken families, home, and escape. In doing so, it addresses in passing the great question of our time: to stay or to leave?

Length: 45 min.




Director: Nuray Sahin Producers: Ira Tondowski, Alex Tondowski 

Funding: ZDF/ 3sat