James Foley wrote this letter to his family after Isis capture - Middle East - World - The Independent

James Foley wrote this letter to his family after Isis capture

The journalist dictated the letter to a fellow hostage about to be released

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist murdered by Isis, have released a letter written by their son during his captivity.

All letters “Jim” wrote to his family were confiscated by the jihadists in Syria - but last June he asked a fellow hostage, who was about to be released, to commit a letter to memory.

In the dictated message, which his family posted on the Facebook page Find James Foley, the journalist speaks about how he is coping with being held hostage and his yearning desire for freedom.

“I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength,” Foley says.

Foley was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising; on Tuesday Isis posed a video online showing his killing.

 

The letter reveals the banalities of captivity; Foley was held with 17 other hostages and the group passed the time by discussing films, sport and trivia and playing games made up of scraps found in their jail cell.

“The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.”

Foley also speaks about how memories of his family are helping him to remain strong.

“I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison,” he says. “Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.

“I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.”

He makes particular reference to his brothers and sister, reminiscing over childhood games and holidays: “Werewolf in the dark… and so many other adventures”.

Video: James Foley's work

Foley ends the letter by addressing “Grammy”. He writes: “Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.”

On Sunday the British ambassador to the United States said that the UK is “close” to identifying the Isis militant responsible for beheading Foley.

Peter Westmacott told CNN  that “we're not far away” from naming the man in the video, who is believed to be British.

James Foley's letter in full:

Dear Family and Friends,

I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.

I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.

Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell…we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk… and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day’s game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.

I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.

I think a lot about my brothers and sister. I remember playing Werewolf in the dark with Michael and so many other adventures. I think of chasing Mattie and T around the kitchen counter. It makes me happy to think of them. If there is any money left in my bank account, I want it to go to Michael and Matthew. I am so proud of you, Michael and thankful to you for happy childhood memories and to you and Kristie for happy adult ones.

And big John, how I enjoyed visiting you and Cress in Germany. Thank you for welcoming me. I think a lot about RoRo and try to imagine what Jack is like. I hope he has RoRo’s personality!

And Mark… so proud of you too Bro. I think of you on the West coast and hope you are doing some snowboarding and camping, I especially remember us going to the Comedy Club in Boston together and our big hug after. The special moments keep me hopeful.

Katie, so very proud of you. You are the strongest and best of us all!! I think of you working so hard, helping people as a nurse. I am so glad we texted just before I was captured. I pray I can come to your wedding…. now I am sounding like Grammy!!

Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing. I plan to take you out to Margarita’s when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.

Jim

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