Winnipeg Yazidi Refugee Learns Her 12-Year-Old Son Is Alive After Rescue From ISIS

Nofa Zaghla, from northern Iraq, says her family was separated in August 2014 when they were captured by ISIS.

She came to Canada five months ago with four of her six children. Days ago, she got a call from a relative in Iraq who said her son Emad Mishko Tamo is alive after being rescued from the Islamist extremists.

“Because of ISIS being so evil, and torturing boys and killing everyone that doesn’t do as they say, we didn’t think we would ever see him again,” she said.

On Sunday, Zaghla’s brother-in-law saw a photo of the boy on social media.

Zaghla said the Iraqi army took photos of him right after he was rescued and posted them online in hopes of finding relatives.

“I was very saddened when I saw his photo,” she said about seeing her son covered in dirt. “[I] spoke to him on the phone and he said, ‘I’m OK, I’m going to be fine.'”

She said her son was treated for a bullet wound to his arm and stomach injuries. Right now he is staying with his uncle in a refugee camp, but she hopes the Canadian government will help bring him to her as soon as possible.

In a video sent to his mother, Tamo said, “Canada please help me. I want to go to Canada with my mom.”

Zaghla said she endured beatings from ISIS militants because she refused to give up her small children — her youngest was just starting to crawl at the time.

“We will never forget what they did to us — the torture, the pain, everything they put us through,” she said through tears.

After two years captive, Zaghla and her four children escaped during an explosion caused by an airstrike. They spent close to a year in a refugee camp in the Kurdistan region of Iraq before being brought to Canada as government-sponsored refugees.

The Yazidi Association of Manitoba is advocating on behalf of Zaghla and her family because of the language barrier.

The association is hoping the federal government will treat Tamo as a special case and expedite the immigration process.

“He is a child and he wants to be with his mother, like any child should be,” Hesso said.

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