Sunday, September 24

Plea of a mother- Bring back my daughter from Yemen


Jackie Saleh, a mother has requested UK’s government to help her get back her daughter from war-torn Yemen. Jakie Saleh’s three daughters Rahana 5 years old, Nadia 4, and Safia 18 months old, were abducted by her husband in May 1986 and taken to Yemen.

How were the girls taken to Yemen?

Jakie Saleh narrated her story that she met Sadek Saleh in late 70s. Basically, he was from Taiz in Yemen but lived in Cardiff with his father. They fell in love and three daughters were born to them into their happy and beautiful relationship. She said later on the things got worse, he was drinking, gambling and became a jobless person. The children used to get scared of him because he became very controlling of the children.

Jakie Saleh said, “After six years of marriage, I had tolerated him enough and wanted a divorce from him. It was weekend in May 1986 when I was bedbound with flu. Sadek took the children to his father’s house in nearby Roath for a night and they planned to return the next morning, but they did not arrive. Police arrived asking questions. They tracked Sadek and came to know that he had traveled to London with the children then boarded a plane to Saudi Arabia.”

Jakie desperately said, he not only took my children but also tried to erase all their memories from my life taking most of their clothes, toys and also their photos with them. This was the time when I died inside.

Interpol searches traced him to Yemen where all leads were lost. Jakie miserably said I had gone from being a mum of three to nothing.

She explained that she never lost hope to see her daughters again. One day in 2001, I received a letter written in Arabic, when I got it translated it was from my eldest doctor Rahana. We established communication and I flew to Yemen, she said.

The Mother Visits her Daughters

Things were totally changed. They were Muslims and were fully veiled. Through their minimal English, I came to know that life had not been good to them. Yemen was a poor country and they had been child brides.

Safia was told a different woman was her mother and had no idea about the truth. Jackie managed to meet her daughter and presented her with her British birth certificate. That moment was so overwhelming that she ended up crying lying on the floor. Jakie returned to UK while her daughters continued their lives living in Yemen. In 2007, Nadia died giving birth to her fourth baby because of improper facilities in the hospital.

Jackie said her contacts with Rahana are irregular, but she is in regular contact with her daughter Safia who had four children and lived in Sheikh Othman Aden, near Hodeidah which is always bombed and severe war-torn area.

The mother said her daughter Safia is not well and her youngest baby is also ill. She wanted to bring her daughters back from Yemen because when she is speaking to them via video link she often hears her screaming at her children to get down as she can hear the bombs dropping. She cries to be with me.  Jakie Saleh pleaded the government to help her because she is a British citizen taken there illegally

However, A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said from February 2015 the operation of the British Embassy in Sana’a was temporarily suspended and we are unable to provide any form of assisted departure to British dual nationals in Yemen.

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