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25 June 2024

Saudi son and Egyptian mother reunited after more than 30 years separation


It’s the stuff movies are made of, a Saudi man finds his Egyptian mother 30 years after his father separated them when their marriage fell apart. 

Turki Khaled Al Sunaid, 36, said he was separated from his mother before he was four. 

She had returned to her country to see her family, when her husband decided to end their marriage and took their son home with him according to the website Al Arabiya.  

Since then, Sunaid has not seen his mother.

His father died when he was 16, so Sunaid moved in with his grandmother. 

When she died he moved in with an elderly relative until he got married when he was 28.

Despite the constant changes in his life, Sunaid always remained eager to find his mother. 

He asked for help from the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh, but then decided to travel to Egypt himself to find her. 

And 32 years after their separation, with the help of the Saudi embassy in Cairo Sunaid finally found his mother. 

Like a needle in a haystack, he thumbed through stacks of documents until he found papers at the embassy that referred to his parents.

The Egyptian authorities then launched a search for his mother, and after visiting several addresses found her.

“The Saudi embassy in Cairo contacted my mother, and they told her about me.”

And he said that after a few conversations they were reunited.  

Mother, Abeer Hanafi, who lives in Alexandria, said she had attempted to reach her son over the years, but his father’s surviving family had denied her access.

“I tried to reach him by calling [the father’s] family but no one would answer me. And when they did, they would tell me: We told him [Sunaid] that you are dead! They told me I cannot speak to him,” Hanafi told Al-Arabiya TV’s morning show. 

“I would tell them let me just hear his voice, without me saying that I’m his mother, and they would still refuse.”

Sunaid said he tried to reach his mother earlier through relatives who knew her but to no avail. It was then when he decided to seek the embassy’s assistance. 

“In the beginning I couldn't believe it, it felt like a dream, thanks to the Saudi embassy and the Saudi ambassador for helping me find my mother,” he said. 

Now, and after they were brought together, Sunaid told the show that he will try to bring his mother to Riyadh and will keep visiting her in Egypt as well.

“I will try to bring her happiness and make it up to her. I always felt that I was missing something in my life without her presence by my side,” he added.