Syrian conflict's pain felt in rural Ireland

Couple who lost a son fighting Assad's regime want international leaders to see the world above national interests.

    The family home of Hudhaifa Elsayed in Ireland has turned into something of a shrine to one more martyr in the open-ended Syrian conflict, pitting opposition fighters against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

    However, through their sadness Elsayed's parents remain defiantly proud of him, his legacy and his motivations.

    Images on the internet paint a stereotypical picture, the kind of thing that is used as propaganda and scare-mongering in much of the world. But his parents say Hudhaifa was nobody's extremist.

    They said he had left their home in rural Ireland, where his father is a surgeon, to travel to Turkey for a conference and that he had become drawn into the Syrian crisis through meeting refugees.

    He died, they said, rescuing someone else who had been shot.

    As foreign ministers from G8 countries meet representatives from the Syrian opposition in London for what promises to be another circular conversation, the message from this family is for governments to look to their consciences, to see the world above national interests.

    Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee reports from Ireland.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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