A Yazidi refugee mother has finally been joined by her 12-year-old son in Canada – three years after they were captured by ISIL.
Campaigners from groups including The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq helped make the dream come true for Nofa Zaghla who escaped the extremists’ clutches herself last year.
Her son Emad asked to be reunited with her when he was rescued from the battlefield in Mosul, emaciated and injured. His elder brother and father are still missing.
After his first small steps of freedom with an uncle in Iraq, his mum saw his photo on social media, realised he was still alive and was finally reunited with Emad at Winnipeg airport on Thursday.
The family were seized by the so-called Islamic State group in the summer of 2014 when the militants overran the Sinjar area in northern Iraq, purging its Yazidi population.
Thousands of Yazidi women were enslaved by the militants, who killed hundreds of adult men and took boys including Emad away for military and ideological training. The United Nations has said it constitutes genocide.
Granted asylum in Canada, Nofa Zaghla is overjoyed that Emad is now with her and her four younger children.
And having lived through a nightmare, Emad is looking forward to a bright and happy future.