February 1, 2014 (Saturday)
Kidnapped from Albania.
Taken to Al Hol Camp, Syria
Eva and Endri Dumani
Alternative Name: Sara Dumani (Her brother was going by the name Talha)
اسم الشهرة: غير معروف
أسماء أخرى مستخدمة: Sara Dumani
Missing from: Tirana, Albania (last seen in the camp Al Hol, Syria)
Date Missing: February 1, 2014 (Saturday)
Suspect: Shkelzen Dumani (Father) – Jihadi Terrorist, Killed in Action 2014
موقع الاختفاء: تيرانا ، ألبانيا (شوهد الأطفال آخر مرة في مخيم الهول بسوريا)
تاريخ الاختفاء: 1 فبراير 2014 (السبت)
وصف المشتبه به: (الأب). – مقتل جهادي في قتال 2014
Between 2012 and 2014, at least 90 Albanian jihadists fled their home country to join the civil war in Syria, taking with them approximately 23 underage children.
Many of the women and children have since been abandoned to refugee or military camps as the men disappeared or were killed in action. Tragically, even those who are no orphaned or who have family looking for them are often held hostage by the terrorists and are not allowed to return home.
Two such children are Eva and Endri Dumani, the young daughter and son of Shkelzen Dumani a fanatic Islamic State supporter.
In 2014, Shkelzen began looking for ways to relocate to Syria with his children. He had recently divorced his wife, who refused to support his terrorist ideals and did not approve of the move. Acting on advice from local imam Bujar Hysa, Shekzen was able to successfully flee Albania.
Shkelzen used the excuse of notarizing the sale of family property to trick his wife into signing a power of attorney document that actually authorized him to take the children abroad.
Shkelzen then purchased flight tickets for himself, the two children, and two other fellow jihadists on a flight from the Rinas Airport in Albania to Syria.
On February 1, 2014, Shkelzen and his children arrived at the airport. Shkelzen had developed a friendship with an anti-terrorist officer who was supposed to help him pass through customs unquestioned. On the actual day, this friend was not there but had arranged for another police officer to help.
Shkelzen was thus able to successfully sneak the children through the security checkpoints and leave the country without issue.
The imam who advised Shkelzen was eventually arrested for managing a terrorist recruitment cell.
According to news reports, there is no evidence the two police officers who assisted Shkelzen in the kidnapping were ever prosecuted.
Shkelzen was already under watch by Albanian authorities (the Prosecutors and the State Intelligence Service) who knew he planned to remove the children to Syria but did not intercept him.
Shkelzen himself was eventually killed in action in Syria in November 2014, nine months after fleeing Albania. Before he died, he left a will amongst witnesses requesting that his children never be returned to Albania.
The family attempted to get the children repatriated but so far efforts have failed. Their grandmother (Shkelzen’s mother) Mentje Dumani flew to Syria and stayed with the children for a while, but she eventually became ill and passed away in September 2020.
His children have not been permitted to leave and have been trapped for the past six years at a military camp known as Al Hol, one of the most dangerous camps in the world. The only information about their situation is what Eva is able to communicate during the few times she has been given access to a cell phone.
Al Hol is overrun with fundamentalist female soldiers, mostly prisoners from the war. They run the camps with strict militant ideology, utilizing Sharia courts and indoctrination for women and children. Those who protest are frequent victims of beatings, murder, and torture. Eva and Endri are not alone — approximately 51 other Albanian children were also still stranded in Al Hol as of 2020. A more complete list of their names is posted on Shqiptarja.com using data Eva gathered during her time there.
In September 2020, Eva posted a request for aid and prayers to her uncle and family in Tirana.
In her message, Eva worries that her and Endri might be relocated to an even more frightening situation. She notes the Kurds who are controlling the region are moving people. Anyone who is not rescued or claimed by their home nation is being sent to “Roxh”, apparently another camp. There, she writes, people are treated like animals and are not even given clothes or basic necessities.
**UPDATE – Endri is Rescued!
On October 27, 2020, Endri finally returned to Albania accompanied by three other children (Amar, Hatixhe, and Emel/Abdullah) and Floresha Rasha.
Floresha and her two children were left in Syria alone when her husband Diamant Rasha was killed in January 2014. Floresha was wounded by a sniper and remains wheelchair bound. Her daughter was also tragically killed in an aerial bombing. Floresha returns to Albania with her son and two other minor children from her forced second marriage to Kosovo native Lavdërim Muhaxhiri (another Jihadist who joined the fight in Syria) (Shqiptarja)
She sought to return to Albania previously, but was not permitted to and had been threated by jihadi sympathizers that she would be arrested if she did return. It is not clear whether her son is amongst those rescued, and Floresha will need to undergo immediate surgery upon her return.
Rumors abound as to why Eva did not also return; but police and family have asked people to wait for more information.
Some have suggested Eva was given the opportunity, but refused though the reasons why are not certain.
A few media sources report that Eva knew what was going on but simply refused to return for some reason. Instead, she sent her brother who is extremely ill for fear he would not survive another month at the camp.
Other sources suggest the police who were looking for Eva in the camp to rescue her were telling people they were looking for an ‘orphan’ which frightened her into thinking she was being sent to an orphanage in Albania instead of being reunited with her family.
Still others (including her uncle Xhetan Ndregjoni) argue she is a confused and frightened victim who may be under pressure from the more radicalized women including those Albanian women who believe in the Jihadi cause. Her uncle argues Eva was forced to choose between saving herself or caring for her little brother (Sot.com.al). He is afraid for Eva and points out that their family has not been able to speak with her for a long time. They are anxiously waiting for her return, but are afraid the mental situation of the camp victims is neither rational nor reliable and that Eva is operating out of fear.
Yet others have also suggested that the children (especially girls) are confused about whether to trust the police sent to pick them up. One woman who refused to return to Albania said the soldiers and Albanian special forces were showing photos and offering $200 to anyone who would tell them where Eva or other orphans were (ABC News). But rumors that some women taken by soldiers were killed frightened them, and Eva went into hiding saying “They also have a picture of my uncle, ostensibly to take us to Albania, ostensibly for me to believe. . . ” Whether this source can be trusted is questionable as she has been one of the more radicalized women.
All the rumors are unsubstantiated and nothing is known right know.
Police do report another 40+ refugee women and children will be returned to Albania in a second trip as well (ABC News). Hopefully this will include more of the reportedly 52 Albanian children remaining in Syria (WSLS)
Key Descriptors (Eva)
- Date of Birth: March 4, 2005
- Age at Disappearance: 8 Years Old
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
- Nationality: Albanian
- Gender at Birth: Female
- Hair: Blonde
- Eye Color: Blue
- Languages Spoken: Albanian
- تاريخ الولادة: 4 مارس 2005
- العمر وقت الاختفاء: 8
- عرق: قوقازي
- جنسية: الألبانية
- جنس تذكير أو تأنيث: أنثى
- لون الشعر: شعر أشقر
- لون العين: عيون زرقاء
- اللغات: اللغة الألبانية
If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact Your Local Police or Interpol
Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for the National Police.
- Bogdani, A. and Vezaj, F. (2014) ‘Dozens of Albanian children’ hostages’ of jihadists in Syria’, Reporter.al, 16 December. Available from: Link
- Maçi, M. (2020) ‘Eva and Endri Dumani 6 years in the ‘Al Hol’ camp’, Shqiptarja, 11 September. Available from: Link
- Disja.al (2020) ‘Only after the death of their grandmother / Endri and Eva Dumani release the APPEAL from Syria: Have mercy, return us to Albania’, 8 September. Available from: Link
- Sot.com.al (2020) ‘It was said that Eva Dumani did not want to return, my uncle recounts the creepy details: He chose between himself and his brother, if Endri would stay for 1 month in “Al Hol”…’. 27 October. Link
- Sot.com.al (2020) ‘Will Eva Dumani return home? Chief of Special Anti-Terror Operations gives hope, shows what is happening inside the camp in Syria’, 27 October. Link
- Dosja.al (2020) ‘”Come and kidnap me because I can not come myself” / Iris Luarasi clarifies the message of Eva Duman, you told your brother’, 27 October. Link
- Exit News (2020) ‘Anti-Terror Chief: Eva Dumani will return home soon’, 27 October. Link
- TPZ.al (2020) ‘Mystery / Why 15-year-old Eva Dumani refused to leave Al-Hol camp’, 27 October. Link
- ABC News (2020) ‘The nephew who was taken out of the infamous camp is waiting for him with open arms: Uncle, tomorrow we will be reunited’, 26 October. Link
- ABC News (2020) ‘Soon 50 children and women of the infamous camp will be in Rinas’, 26 October. Link
- Semini, Llazar (2020) ‘Albania repatriating 5 family members of fighters in Syria’, WSLS, 26 October. Link
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