DiscoverThe DailyTrapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight
Trapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight

Trapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight

Update: 2019-10-2136


Since the fall of the Islamic State, many of the group’s fighters and their families have been held in prison camps controlled by U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. Parents around the world have been trying to get their children and grandchildren out of the camps and back to their home countries. Now, the fate of those detainees has become an urgent question after President Trump’s abrupt recall of American troops from the Syrian border. 

We follow one father as he fights to get his daughter, a former ISIS bride, and her children back to Australia.

Guest: Livia Albeck-Ripka, a reporter for The Times in Melbourne, Australia, spoke to Kamalle Dabboussy, whose daughter Mariam is trapped in Syria with her three children. For more information on today’s episode, visit

Background coverage: 

Comments (10)

Justin Hargis

I have been listening to The Daily for a little over a year. I try to ensure I don't just listen to conservative talking heads and I enjoy the balance I have gotten from this show. Until today. All i could think today was, am i really supposed to be moved by this? The true liberal flesh of this beast is laid bare. People must be accountable for their actions. This story seems to fly in the face of that. This woman isn't a victim; she is a criminal. And now she has brought several children into this venomous ideology as well as subjecting them to the terror of her chosen life. I haven't listened to part 2 yet. I'm about to. But this story really bothered me on a fundamental level in how misguided it is.

Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

Trevor F

I feel for this man, and his innocent grandchildren in Syria. But there is no explanation of any rigorous reporting that confirms the father's assertion his daughter was 'forced into it'. She was an adult. She had been changing, becoming more conservative. Again, no evidence provided she was forced. No mention of the atrocities carried out by ISIS or any single negative thing this woman has done. If we're supposed to sympathize with the woman, coercion and/or force must be substantiated. Most young people who traveled to 'the caliphate' did so by choice. Given that, I have no sympathy for this young woman. She's getting what she deserves. The children are innocent and should be freed into their grandfather's custody. The New York Times over and over repeats they must be fair with their coverage to maintain journalistic integrity. If you're being fair you have to include the nasty bits about ISIS here and the repugnance of this young woman's actions. Young people make mistakes but most don't become terrorists. All that said the New York Times does awesome work. But these oversights pose serious questions. If this ISIS terrorist were a young man we know we wouldn't be asked to sympathize with him. It's no different for her. Again, that might be different if the reporter substantiated any claim the young woman was forced into ISIS. Lacking that, she's earned her precarious situation and substantial criminal penalties. Not sympathy.

Oct 21st
Reply (7)








Trapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight

Trapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight