Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mom Hopes for Help Getting Boy Rescued from Iraqi Militants Brought to Canada

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mom Hopes for Help Getting Boy Rescued from Iraqi Militants Brought to Canada

Article excerpt

Mom wants rescued boy brought to Canada


WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg woman who escaped the horrors of captivity at the hands of Iraqi militants was overjoyed to recently discover that her 12-year-old son has been rescued and is recovering from gunshot wounds at a refugee camp.

Now, the mission for Nofa Mihlo Zaghla has become getting Canadian officials to help reunite her with her boy.

On Wednesday, the Yazidi Association of Manitoba went public with her story in the hopes of spurring officials to act quickly to get young Emad to Canada.

"We're asking to bring that child to be reunited with his mother," pleaded association president Hadji Hesso, his voice filled with passion. "That's all we want. That's all the mother wants. It's all the child wants."

The Yazidi are a Kurdish minority which practise an ancient faith and have been persecuted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- also known as Daesh, ISIL or ISIS -- for their religious beliefs.

The United Nations has called for countries around the world to accelerate the asylum applications of Yazidi victims of genocide. In February, the federal government announced plans to take in about 1,200 survivors, specifically vulnerable Yazidi women and children and their families.

According to a letter written by the Manitoba association to members of Parliament, Zaghla lived peacefully with her husband and six children in Iraq until the summer of 2014 when her village was attacked.

They were captured and lived in captivity for two years, during which time the association said she was forced to serve as a sex slave to the militants.

But as they were moved from place to place, she became separated from her husband and her two oldest sons, and when she managed to escape with four of her children during an attack on their compound, she made her way to Canada with no expectation she would see them again.

Recently, however, a relative spotted photos of her boy Emad on a website that indicated he had been rescued by the Iraqi army. …

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