Daughter reunited with mum
Published: May 14, 2008 | 7044th good news item since 2003
A CARDIFF mum has been reunited with one of the three daughters taken from her 22 years ago.
Jackie Saleh is now nursing her daughter Rahannah, 26, through the same ‘tug-of-love’ heartbreak she suffered when her three eldest children were taken to live in Yemen by their father.
Jackie, who has fought since 1986 to be permanently reunited with her daughters, said Rahannah had been forced to leave her own child Anisa, four, behind in the Middle Eastern state.
She said: “She’s come all this way but she’s had to leave her daughter. From Page 1
“She’s heartbroken. I know how she’s feeling because I was in the same situation. I don’t know what we can do.”
Jackie, a lunchtime supervisor at Hywel Dda Junior School near her home in Cambria Road, Ely, said her daughter had appeared unannounced on her doorstep at 2.30am yesterdaymon after fleeing her husband when the relationship broke down.
The 46-year-old had seen her daughter only twice since she was taken to Yemen by father Sadeq Hussein Saleh.
The last time was nearly eight years ago when Rahannah and her sister Safia came to stay for a couple of months over the summer.
All three of Jackie’s children were kept in Yemen by their father, and eventually married Yemeni men. She has only ever seen the third daughter, Nadia, for 10 minutes in a snatched meeting at her school when she travelled to the Middle East to track the children down.
Rahannah, who barely speaks any English, told the Echo she was happy to see her mother again but broke down in tears on the telephone when she was asked about her own daughter, Anisa.
Jackie is now hoping that she can get the authorities to help bring Anisa to live in the UK but said so far the British representatives in Yemen had been unable to help her in her own battle.
She said: “Something’s happened. She’s come over here with hardly any personal possessions.
“It was totally out of the blue, I wasn’t expecting it at all.
“We’ll have to see what happens now because it’s pretty difficult. She’s left her daughter which she’s upset about. He said she couldn’t take the girl. She’s said she’s not going back. She was quite upset when she came here.
“I’m hoping now that I can get the British Embassy involved and get her daughter here.”
Jackie’s husband Alan Freeman, who has supported her in her battle to keep in touch with her estranged children, said Rahannah had endured a tough, four-day trip with little money to get to the United Kingdom.
He said: “We fought for 16 years to get the children back but it’s the first time we’ve got close to having one of them back full time. We lost all contact with them. We thought that was the end. We last spoke to her seven years ago. She’s put on a little more weight but no, she hasn’t changed.
“She knocked at the door and I leaped out of bed and she was crying ‘dad, dad’ and I said ‘it’s Rahannah knocking’.
“She’s run into the house crying and her mum’s all upset.
“It’s brilliant. To be honest, it’s something that her mum’s dreamed of and something we’ve always talked about. We never dreamed it would actually happen.”