Saudi disappears in Syria, family stuck in Beirut

A Saudi family has been stuck in Beirut for a year after the father disappeared in Syria

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A Saudi family has been stuck in Beirut for a year after the father disappeared in Syria in mysterious circumstances, Alsharq daily reported.

Mubarak al-Rasheedi said his brother Abdullah left for Iraq 12 years ago and was married to an Iraqi woman who gave birth to three children, Noorulhuda, 4, Asmaa, 3, and Abdulelah, 2.

He added Abdullah’s family succeeded in persuading him to return home and he left Iraq with his family to Lebanon.

“On their way they stopped in Syria near the Lebanese borders for some time, and one day Abdullah went out and never returned to his family,” he said.

He explained that his wife searched for him, but to no avail, and her children had underlying medical conditions that put an even bigger burden on her shoulders.

“The family experienced difficult days in Syria due to the deteriorating situation there and was finally able to reach Lebanon assisted by some Syrians,” he added.

Mubarak said the family visited the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon that provided them with a residence and a monthly stipend and has also treated the children, who are now in a good condition.

He wrote a letter to Interior Minister Prince Muhammad Bin Naif to allow his brother’s family into the Kingdom and the request was approved.

“The Saudi Embassy then could not implement the approval because there was a mistake in the letter that listed the wife’s nationality as Syrian while her documents show she is an Iraqi citizen,” he said.

He submitted another letter with the correct information and the letter was referred to concerned bodies, but no action has been taken yet.

Mubarak is asking for the assistance of Prince Muhammad to expedite the return of his brother’s family from Lebanon due to the deteriorating security situation there.

He added that he is ready to provide whatever required guarantees and obligations to allow them entry into the Kingdom and that the ministry can take DNA samples from the children.

Legal consultant at the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) Khalid Al-Fakhri asked the family’s relatives to contact the NSHR so it could provide assistance.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 21, 2014.