Sister pays tribute to British jihadi killed in Syria
Aîóshà Deghayes wrote that her brother Jaffar Deghayes “died as an honorable man helping fight an oppressive tyrant,” and that his last words were the Islamic testament of faith.
Jaffar Deghayes, 17, is believed to have died last weekend. He left his home in Saltdean, Brighton, in January this year to go to Syria to fight alongside rebels aiming to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Jaffar was 16 when he went to Syria, alongside his two elder brothers, Abdullah and Amer. His brother Abdullah, 18, died in Latakia province in April after he reportedly joined Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria.
In the Facebook tribute, Aîóshà describes her brother Jaffar as a quiet boy. “He was so quiet to the point you could forget he’s around, he used to always sit in a little corner and do his thing. Most of the time that was drawing/coloring or playing with a small toy.”
“Growing up he was always more interested in getting his homework's done and watching TV. The opposite of my other brothers who loved playing outside and would always plot to distract my parents and run away to the park,” she wrote.
Aîóshà admitted, “Of course he wasn't perfect and when becoming a teenager at his early teen age years he changed and became a troubled teenager.” But then, she said, he changed and never missed a single day at college and started learning Arabic. “I was so proud of him,” she said.
“He was always strong about what he believed in. If he believed something was wrong then he would work so hard to change it. […] As a brother he was and still is very special to me. He was so sweet and caring he only called me by my nickname.”
She finished the tribute saying, “I ask Allah to grant him what he’s always wanted (paradise) and may he reunite me with him and Abdullah.”
This comes as Jaffar’s father Abubaker Deghayes, 46, called on his sons’ friends not to travel to Syria to join rebel groups and take part in the fighting.
“All young Muslims, however young and naive, who thinks to go to Syria out of kindness and to try to make a difference – do not go,” he told the Guardian. “The Syrians do not need fighters. […] Do not make this mistake. Do not go there.”
Deghayes said, “The grief I have for my two sons cannot be described. My words fail to describe it.”
However, he also told the Guardian his son’s actions were “a young man’s attempt, with scarce experience of life, to fight a tyrant [who is] massacring civilians under the watch of the whole world. I seek comfort in the fact that his intention, hopefully, was to help oppressed people.”
Jaffar’s uncle, Omar Deghayes, spent six years in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba reportedly wrongfully imprisoned, for which he was later paid compensation by the government.