After the Islamic state invaded the city of Qaraqosh, Iraq, in August 2014, local Christian populations were forced to flee for safety. Among the displaced was a young girl named Christina Ezzo Abada, who was traveling out of Islamic State territory with her mother when she was snatched by militants.
Reuters reports that Christina, now 6 years old, has been reunited with her parents, nearly three years after she was kidnapped. “The best day of my life is the day when Christina came back,” her mother, Aidah Nuh, told Reuters over the weekend.
The girl’s family has spent years trying to track Christina down, and last week, she was located in a run-down neighborhood of Mosul. Most of the city has fallen to Iraqi forces, following an eight-month, U.S.-backed offensive.
Christina’s parents went to a “dirty place” in the neighborhood and “took the child,” according to the girl’s father, Khader Touma.
The family is now living in a mobile home for displaced persons in a Christian suburb of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Christina’s parents say they hope to emigrate, but for now, they are focused on acclimating their daughter to her new life.
“She stayed three years with the terrorists,” her mother said. “Of course she forgot who her mother is, who her father is, that we are her family, but she will learn again.” Watch video of the emotional reunion below.
Read the full story at Reuters.