Ayda Abada held her 3-year-old daughter Christine tight to her breast as she boarded the bus. The windows, smeared with dirt, quenched the hot Iraqi sun, and gave the world a sick brown tint.
She had already lost everything; her valuables had been confiscated and she had been forced from her home. The one solace available to her was that she could claim her family would make it out of this nightmare alive.
Then she saw him, an inspector for the jihadis. As he surveyed the refugees, he stopped when he reached Ayda and Christine Abada.
“He walked up to us. He took my little girl from my arms and just walked away,” Ayda Abada said according to Fox News.
Christine was only 3-years-old.
Grief-stricken, Ayda Abada followed him off the bus. Her pleas to return her daughter were fell on deaf ears, and finally she was forcibly returned to her seat on the bus.
Transported to a refugee camp 30 kilometers down the road, Abada feared this would be the last she’d ever see of her daughter.
Despite her grief Abada never lost hope. Contacting organizations like Open Doors International, the World Watch Monitor, and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, Abada put out the word about her missing.
“My biggest joy would be when my child Christine would return to us,” Ayda Kedher told Open Doors International in July of 2015.
It worked, when three years later, as Iraqi Special Forces were participating in operations to retake Mosul, they found her. Christine, now 6-years-old, was returned to her family not only unharmed, but well-taken care of.
According to Fox News, Christine was found in a mosque located in the Tanak neighborhood of Mosul after the abduction. Thereafter, a Muslim family took her in, and looked after her.
As the family celebrated with others in their refugee camp, Ayda Abada looked on. When asked about how she felt at the return of her daughter, Abada was only able to utter one word.