Roger Waters Lends Private Jet to Reunite Mother With Children Who Were Kidnapped to Syria

Mahmud and Ayoub Ferreira, aged 7 and 11, were reportedly stranded after their father, an Islamic State militant, was killed fighting in northern Syria

Aya Chajut
Aya Chajut
A member of an NGO accompanies two Caribbean children and their mother (R) as they prepare to leave the northeastern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on January 21, 2019
A member of an NGO accompanies two Caribbean children and their mother (R) as they prepare to leave the northeastern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on January 21, 2019Credit: AFP
Aya Chajut
Aya Chajut

Former Pink Floyd frontman and BDS activist Roger Waters lent his private plane in order to help a mother reunite with her children, who were kidnapped and taken to Syria by their father, an Islamic State militant.

Felicia Perkins Ferreira hasn't seen her children, Mahmud and Ayoub, aged seven and eleven, in over four years. When Waters heard of Ferreira's distress, he decided to lend his plane in order to fly the mother out to the Iraq-Syria border so she could reunite with them.

Felicia Perkins Ferreira in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on January 21, 2019Credit: AFP

Prior to this, Ferreira had never been outside Trinidad.

The children apparently were stranded after their father was killed fighting in the city of Raqqa in Syria. Reports say the two were abandoned in the street by their father's wife after his death.

Ayoud and Mahmud were staying at a refugee camp where Clive Stafford-Smith, a lawyer and founder of human rights charity Reprieve, was working.

Stafford-Smith, a friend of Waters', said the musician agreed to pay for the entire affair, and that they intend to assure the children go on to live a productive and decent life.

Musician and activist Roger Waters in the Amazon region of Ecuador, Monday, November 19, 2018Credit: Dolores Ochoa,AP

The family was eventually reunited in the city of Qamishli in northern Syria, and Ferreira thanked Waters and all those who took part in the operation, saying it was the first time she's slept well in four years.

After a brief stop in Switzerland, the family moved on to London, where the children will receive treatment.

According to the British daily the Guardian, over 1,200 children like Mahmud and Ayoub are now displaced in Syria following the defeat of the Islamic State.

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