Plant virologist Dr Safaa Kumari discovered seeds that could safeguard food security in the region – and risked her life to rescue them from Aleppo
The call came as she sat in her hotel room. “They gave us 10 minutes to pack up and leave,” Dr Safaa Kumari was told down a crackling phone line. Armed fighters had just seized her house in Aleppo and her family were on the run.
Kumari was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, preparing to present a conference. She immediately began organising a sprint back to Syria. Hidden in her sister’s house was a small but very valuable bundle that she was prepared to risk her life to recover.
They wanted to buy our product and then sell it to the farmers, but we refused