‘First there was pain, then joy’: 2 orphans rescued in Iraq reunited with relatives in Russia
Eight-year-old Adlan Dakaev and nine-year-old Khadija Huseinova have been returned to the arms of their relatives in Grozny, and are now trying to integrate with their peers back in Chechnya from where their parents had abruptly taken them to go to Iraq when they joined the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) terrorist caliphate.
Both Children have lost all of their closest relatives in Iraq. While their fathers were reportedly killed among IS militants, their mothers and siblings perished during US-backed effort to retake Mosul.
Adlan and Khadija have barely survived – the boy has suffered a shrapnel injury to his leg, while the girl has sustained severe burns. Traumatized and unwilling to speak, both of them have been taken to an orphanage in Baghdad, where other Russian-speaking children are being kept after their parents have either disappeared or been killed.
With the help of Russian and Iraqi authorities, both Adlan and Khadija have been flown to Moscow earlier this week, before traveling onwards to the Chechen Republic to meet their relatives.
RT has helped initiate the search for the surviving relatives of these and other orphans through a ‘Bring them home’ campaign, which appeals to anyone with information about the children shown in RT videos to contact the channel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The special campaign has helped reunite a number of families with the Russian speaking children.
Left without a mother and father, Khadija is now being comforted by her next of kin and a number of her local peers. Although still timid in front of cameras and extremely shy for words, she seems to socialize quite well with other children. Her relatives are relieved to have her home after long absence.
“I am very grateful to our president for all that he does, for helping our children. If not for him, then most likely they could not take it from there,” Zura Huseynorva, the grandmother of the girl told RT's Ruptly news agency.
Eight-year-old Adlan seems to be enjoying attention a bit more than Khadija. Back home with his grandparents and other relatives in Grozny, the child seems fully active on camera. His return home is seen as a miracle.
“At first, there was pain, then joy. As soon as we saw him, we could not come back to ourselves. It was very difficult. Thank God he was returned to us,” Adlan’s relative Seyeda Lusumova said.
Russian authorities have so far managed to facilitate the safe return of 18 Russian speaking children, saving the lives of not only Russian but Kazakhstan, natives as well. According to official estimates around 500 Russian speaking children have been discovered in the territories recently liberated from IS terrorists in Iraq.