In the weeks before her abduction, Sara was at the seaside of Calabria with her father, taking a course on sailing and scuba diving. She spent a week on a sailboat with her brother, Ezra. And she was in the process of earning her next level of sailing certification. Sara – certificato scuola vela 2011
It was the third summer in a row that she was learning how to sail, snorkel, scuba dive, and how to tie nautical knots. She had become an avid sailor and loved being in the water, and with her father had learned at the age of 7 to snorkel to depths of 6 meters (20 feet) without difficulty.
Sara was also helping her little brother learn to sail, just as she had helped him learn to ski during the family’s winter vacation in the Dolomites months before.
Sara has many many dear friends in Italy, especially at Carducci elementary school, who cannot wait to have her home.
Sara is especially close to her little cousin, Zoe, who absolutely adores Sara and cannot wait to see her again!
Zoe lives with Sara’s aunt and uncle in Pistoia, which is close to Florence, and Sara often stayed with them so she could be close to her little cousin.
In fact, Sara has been close to Zoe since the day she was born. Zoe is now two and a half years old, but she has not forgotten her older cousin. Everytime Zoe sees a pink bicycle, like the one Sara used to ride in Florence, she shouts “a-Sara!”
Sara is also a writer. In the two years before being abducted, Sara and her father were writing a series of stories that Sara had tentatively titled, “Lili and the Dragon”. These are short stories about a little girl (about Sara’s age) who plays chess (like Sara) and meets a dragon that does, too. “I didn’t know dragons could talks!” says Lili the first time they meet. “And I didn’t know little girls could play chess!” answers the dragon.
Lili and the Dragon become good friends. The Dragon explains he will always be around so long as Lili still believes in him.
At left is a picture of the front entrance to Mahon, the institution where Sara now lives, operated by the Chabad-Lubavitch organization, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Please post your comments to Sara, or send them privately to the family. We will make every effort to have them delivered through the people who work there.
The father has asked to include a note that he has found kind and decent people within the institution where Sara is living who are working to help children in need. It is not their fault that Sara has been placed where she does not belong, or put there for the wrong reasons (to isolate her from family). The father has seen the faces of compassionate people whom he believes understand the trauma being inflicted, and who may be able to help Sara get in touch with family, despite the mother’s instructions to keep her in isolation. This contact has not yet occurred, but the father is hopeful that where there are good people who care about the emotional and psychological well-being of children, it is only a matter of time.