'We are paralysed with worry' – family of Shiraaz Mohamed

2017-01-18 11:10
SA photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has been kidnapped in Syria. (Facebook)

SA photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed, who has been kidnapped in Syria. (Facebook)

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Johannesburg - The family of a South African photojournalist, Shiraaz Mohamed, who was kidnapped in Syria last week, say they are paralysed with worry.

"What do we say every time someone asks how we are doing? We are paralysed with worry and concern for Shiraaz,” his ex-wife and friend Shirley Brijlal said in a statement on Wednesday.

“All we can do is hold on to our Creator and know that His will is being done to bring Shiraaz safely back to us."

Brijlal said waiting for updates on Mohamed was devastating.

On Saturday, Gift of the Givers said the Johannesburg-based journalist was kidnapped last week and had not been heard from since.

The disaster relief organisation’s founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, said armed men took Mohamed to an unknown location after stopping their convoy on Aljamiliye Road, which is near the Al Hilal hospital, on Tuesday afternoon.

Mohamed and two organisation members were en route to the Turkish border to leave Syria.

'Misunderstanding' 

Sooliman said the men told the Gift of the Givers staff that there had been “some misunderstanding”, that they needed to question Mohamed, and would bring him back two days later.

The men identified themselves as representing “all groups inside Syria”.

The Gift of the Givers officials and Mohamed were blindfolded and driven around for an hour. The two staff members were dropped off. Mohamed had not been heard from since.

Mohamed had been capturing scenes of the Syrian civil war, including the lives of adult and child survivors.

The family thanked fellow South Africans, Gift of the Givers, and the media for their support and ongoing coverage.

However, they asked for their privacy to be respected.

Lenasia South residents would hold a night vigil at the local civic centre at 19:30 on Wednesday. His mother and sisters would not be there, but sent their heartfelt gratitude.

Brijlal said they hoped the vigil and the public support would add momentum to the efforts being made to find Shiraaz.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  shiraaz mohamed  |  syria  |  hostages

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