It was a homecoming that some feared might never happen: Journalist Peter Theo Curtis reunited with his family in Boston on Tuesday night after being released from his al Qaeda–affiliated captors in Syria.
Curtis, 45, had been held by Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, for close to two years before his release over the weekend. Curtis flew from Tel Aviv to Newark, New Jersey, before finally landing in Boston. "I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today — strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home," he said in a statement.
Curtis also had kind words for the people who helped broker the deal that brought him back home. "I am deeply indebted to the U.S. officials who have worked on my case," he said. "I especially want to thank the government of Qatar for intervening on my behalf."
As thrilled as Curtis' family was to have him back, they were sensitive to the fact that not everyone has been so lucky. "I am overwhelmed with relief that this day has come and my son is standing beside me," his mother, Nancy Curtis, said. "But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week. My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering."