Displaced by Iraq’s new crises and the advance of ISIS, a Sunni and a Christian family have found peace living in the same house in Kirkuk.

This is a story about co-existence in a time of sectarian violence, a rare thing these days.

Ghanim Hormoz Gorgis and his family were living in Tel Keppe, a town in northern Iraq, when ISIS took control of the nearby city of Mosul. Being a Christian in the region has been dangerous for years; the encroach of ISIS has made it all the more so. He decided to leave with his wife and three children to Shargat first, then Riiadh, before arriving in the Kurdish city of Kirkuk seven months ago.

Here, Ghanim’s story of displacement crosses the one of Widad Fadhil, a Sunni Muslim from Nasaf, a small town west of Baghdad. A widow and mother of three, Widad ran away from the violence with her children, her mother and her sister’s three orphans, seeking a safer future.

Widad visits Ghanim’s house for a friendly tea session.

The two families ended up renting rooms in the same house. They each have a private room, but they share the patio, where Widad and Ghanim’s wife, Maysoon, often sit together chatting while the children play. In this disputed city, the two families live in peace.

Since the beginning of the recent crisis in June 2014, more than two million Iraqis have been forced to leave their homes, with 1.2 million seeking shelter inside the relatively safer Kurdish region of Iraq. This report is part of a collective effort by Iraq’s only independent photography agency, Metrography, to map the displacement inside Iraqi Kurdistan. You can help and learn more about the project here

Ghanim’s mother, Najiba cuts her husband’s hair.
Asma helps her aunt Widad and cousins to arrange the room.
Marta Ghanim, 11, in her school uniform. She studies at a Christian School.
Najiba’s room.
Marta does her homework with her father in the evening.
Widad hangs washed clothes on a rope in the court of the house she shares with her Christian neighbors.
Najiba prays to a Christian effigy.
Mohammad, 5, kisses his mother.
Najiba at church during Easter celebrations.
Ghanim pays a visit to Widad’s room, where she offers him sweets given to her by the mosque to celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammed.