By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa
A Sudanese woman stranded in Syria for the last eight years has finally made it home with her children with the help of Turkey’s government, a Turkish aid group, and Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s premier news agency, which publicized her plight.
"Today I will return to my country so I am very happy," said Yusriyya Abdulkerim Hano, a mother of four.
"My family will see my children for the first time ever, and my children will see Sudan for the first time. We thank Anadolu Agency for telling our story to the world."
Hano, 34, went to Syria in 2011 with her then-husband to meet her in-laws, but then the civil war broke out.
After her husband left her, Hano ended up living in a refugee camp with her four young children.
When Anadolu Agency wrote about her and her plight last November, the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) contacted Sudanese officials to help get her and her children home safely, as well as with food, clothing, and medical care.
"I miss my family, my homeland, my Sudan,” she told Anadolu Agency in November.
“I miss my old life, my family, my university. I miss education. I want to finish my studies and start a new life."
The Turkish Interior and Foreign Ministries and police also helped Hano on her journey back to Sudan.
Later, an official at Sudan's Embassy in Ankara thanked Anadolu Agency for publicizing Hano's plight.
In addition to Hano, Anadolu Agency also shared the stories of an elderly Pakistani couple and Alena Nicoleta, a Romanian woman, all three trapped in Syria, and helped them make it home to their own countries.
The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been helping war victims since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas.