Approximately a year and a half ago, the news of the abduction of an aid volunteer in Africa plunged the world into concern and sorrow. Now, we receive consecutive pieces of good news: Silvia Romano, the woman held captive by Al-Shabaab, has been safely rescued with the assistance of intelligence agencies from Italy, Somalia, and Turkey— and she has embraced Islam! The saying, “In every adversity, there is a blessing,” seems to manifest itself in this incident.
The Unfortunate Incident for the Italian Volunteer
Kenya has long been grappling with terrorist acts, particularly those crippling its tourism economy. One of the leading organizations behind these acts is Al-Shabaab, based in Somalia. Silvia Romano, a volunteer at the non-governmental organization “African Milele,” became one of the latest victims of this organization. It was revealed that Romano, who was working at an orphanage in the village of Chakama at the time of the unfortunate incident, was abducted by armed members. On November 24, 2018, the Kenyan National Police shared the photos of three suspects related to the incident on their Twitter account, announcing a reward of nine thousand seven hundred fifty dollars for information leading to their capture.
Silvia Romano’s Days in Captivity
After the abduction, Romano stated that the organization had assured her safety and that she had not suffered any physical or psychological harm. While seeking wisdom in such a horrifying incident is challenging, the young woman seems to have emerged from the eighteen-month captivity stronger.
During her captivity with Al-Shabaab, Romano developed an interest in Islam and ultimately embraced the faith. Eighteen months later, with the support of the Italian foreign intelligence agency, and with assistance from Turkish and Somali agencies, she was rescued and returned to her homeland as Ayşe Romano. We wish Ayşe patience and ease in her new life as a practicing Muslim.