It’s a level of pastoral care few universities can boast of providing. A chemistry professor at Lund University dispatched a team of elite mercenaries into an Islamic State warzone to free one of her doctoral students and his family.
Charlotta Turner, Professor in Analytical Chemistry, received a text message from her student Firas Jumaah in 2014 telling her to to assume he would not finish his thesis if he had not returned within a week.
He and his Yazidi family were, he told her, hiding out in a disused bleach factory, hearing the sounds of gunshots as Islamic State (Isil) warriors roamed the town outside.
“I had no hope then at all,” Jumaah told Lund’s University Magazine LUM. “I was desperate. I just wanted to tell my supervisor what was happening. I had no idea that a professor would be able to do anything for us.”
But Turner was in no mind to let Jumaah’s research project go unfinished.