Heartbreaking photo adds to Sally Faulkner’s anguish
HERE is the photo that broke a mother's heart.
Sally Faulkner, the Brisbane mum who was jailed in Lebanon with a 60 Minutes crew after a misguided attempt to take her children back, found the picture of daughter Lahela on the internet.
As Lahela's classmates smile and make fun for the camera, the little girl stares off sadly into the distance.
In a heart-wrenching post on her Facebook page, Ms Faulkner said it looked like her daughter was a "million miles away with her mummy in the only place she is allowed ... her mind".
"What is she thinking in this moment? She looks so lost! I miss you Lahela," wrote Ms Faulkner.
"I hope you were looking out the window dreaming of the moment you and your brother come home and are truly happy again."
The distraught mother spends hours each week trawling the net for pictures or information about Lahela, 6, and Noah, 4.
She has spent just a few precious minutes with the two since she allowed former husband Ali Elamine to take them on holidays to Lebanon in May 2015.
He refused to return them, and has since been granted full custody in Lebanon under a religious order.
Ms Faulkner's post went on to say "I just want to cuddle you and never let go".
"Don't be sad baby. Please don't be sad," she wrote.
"One day I'll make this right and you will know that your mummy never gave you up."
The former flight attendant was forced to give up custody to the children as a condition for her release from a Beirut jail in April following the botched attempt to grab the pair from the street.
Sixty Minutes paid agents from Child Abduction Recovery International to assist with the children's retrieval but instead all involved were arrested, including Ms Faulkner.
Compensation of a rumoured $1 million paid by Channel Nine to Mr Elamine, his mother and the children's nanny helped secure Ms Faulkner's release and that of the 60 Minutes' crew.
Child recovery agents spent several more months in jail before being released on bail in July.