The recess bell rings at the Akha elementary school in Mosul and children come thundering out of the classroom. It's the first day of school.
An ordinary scene, except it hasn't happened for three years in this city. Iraqi forces drove ISIS fighters out of Mosul earlier this year in a battle that destroyed huge parts of the northern city, including hundreds of schools.
"None of us went to school when ISIS was here — we stayed at home," says Ali, who is in sixth grade. "It feels good to be back."
ISIS sent government teachers home and ran its own schools — focused on religion and weapons training. Even basic math had a militaristic twist, using the image of bullets to teach children to count.
To make up for the lost years, the Iraqi government implemented a system where children could take makeup classes and then sit for exams. If they passed, they moved into the grades they would have been in if school hadn't been interrupted. Junior high and high school students were still sitting for exams while the elementary schools reopened at the beginning of October.