Emotional appeals for children feared taken to Syria

Two fathers whose wives are feared to have taken their children to Syria broke down as they begged their families to come home.
Akhtar Iqbal breaks down at the press conference. Picture: PAAkhtar Iqbal breaks down at the press conference. Picture: PA
Akhtar Iqbal breaks down at the press conference. Picture: PA

Akhtar Iqbal, husband of Sugra Dawood, directly appealed to his family, saying: “All of you, I can’t live without you. Please, please come back home.”

In an emotional press conference, Mohammed Shoaib told his wife Khadija Dawood: “We had a perfect relationship, we had a lovely family. Please contact me whenever you want. Please come back.”

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Khadija, 30, Sugra, 34, and their sister Zohra Dawood, 33, whose children are aged between three and 15, disappeared after going on an Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia from their homes in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Among those missing are Mr Iqbal’s children Ismaeel, three, Mariya, five, Zaynab, eight, Ibrahim, 14, and Junaid, 15.

He said: “I would like to appeal to my family. To my wife Sugra and my sons Junaid, Ibrahim, Ismaeel and my daughters Zaynab and Mariya.

“Please, please contact with me. Please, please call me. It’s been eight, nine days, you are out and we don’t know where you are.

“I miss you, I love you. All of you, I love you a lot. I can’t live without you.

“To my family, please, please call me (so) at least I know where you are – are you safe? Especially my three-year-old son Ismaeel.

“I am worried about my daughters. Please call me.

“Especially Junaid. You are 15. Please, if you watch this video, please ring me. Please contact me. I love all of you and I can’t live without you.

“Please, Mariya, I love you. I don’t know what to say, I’m shaking. I miss you. It’s been too many days.

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“Please come back home so we can live a normal life. There’s nothing wrong. I miss you.”

Mr Shoaib, whose children five-year-old Muhammad Haseeb and Maryam Siddiqui, seven, are missing. said: “Please come back home with the kids, I know the kids can’t live without me and you, please bring them home, they can’t live without me.

“We’ve been married 11 years, and we were in a perfect relationship, she knew it, please come back.”

He added: “I’m not angry, please come back, everything is normal, come back to normal life please. They are young kids, seven and five. We had a perfect relationship, we had a lovely family, I don’t know what happened.”

He wept during his statement and then sat with his face in his hands.

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