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Canadian orphan, aged four, stranded in a Syrian refugee camp

Amira, a four-year-old orphan, is trapped in the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria. Her parents died fighting for ISIS, and now her uncle wants to bring her back home.

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Siddak Ahuja Montreal QC
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Amira, a four-year-old orphan, is trapped in the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria. Her parents died fighting for ISIS, and now her uncle wants to bring her back home.

Amira’s three siblings, along with her parents, after her parents were killed in an airstrike.

“She was found on the side of the road by herself,” her uncle, who did not want to be named out of fear for his family’s safety, told CTV News. “In her own words, she said she saw everybody lying down. She was just wandering by herself. Somebody found her and brought her to the camp.”

Amira’s uncle has been trying to bring her to Canada since he was sent an image of his niece showing some scars on her forehead.

“I’m terrified for her health and her security,” he said. “She’s only four years old. She’s just a little girl.”

Al-Hawl is a sprawling refugee camp providing shelter to some 40,000 people, including the families of fallen ISIS fighters. In the past few months, reports out of Al-Hawl suggest the camp is becoming more and more overcrowded, while supplies are diminishing.

Amira’s uncle said he has run into numerous barriers in trying to bring Amira home. She was born in Syria, so the family needs a DNA test to prove her parents are Canadian. Amira would also need temporary documentation to travel.

The DNA test alone could take six months; the documents provide a whole set of logistical issues.

While the Canadian government said it cannot offer many consular services to the Canadians detained at Al-Hawl, French and Dutch governments are bringing their orphans home.

Lately, the list has expanded to Swedish, German and American governments as they have also arranged for some the detained to return home.

“I’m just confused why so many countries…can bring their orphans back, but my government is leaving my niece alone,” Amira’s uncle said.

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