Shameera was all tears when she met her brother at Sharjah airport. In her mind, Hani was a cute, four-year-old boy whom she lost almost 17 years ago. And in front of her stood a young man, who still couldn’t believe whether the moment was real or just a dream.
It was a moment of perfect reunion as in a Bollywood tearjerker.
Shameera, who works in a stationery shop in Karama, is from Kozhikode district of the south Indian state of Kerala and her youngest sibling, Hani Nader Mergani Ali, holds a Sudanese passport as his father is from there.
“He came to Kerala for his studies and got married to our mother Noorjahan. However, four years after Hani was born, they had some issues and he returned to Sudan with Hani, leaving our mother and three daughters back in Kerala. Though we tried a lot to contact him, we couldn’t. And our mother had to face a lot of hardships to educate us. All these years, we missed our brother a lot. Now, he is here with me and I’m more than happy,” Shameera told Khaleej Times.
For Hani, the 17 years he spent with his dad in Sudan were a nightmare. “My father remarried soon after reaching Sudan. I was being ill-treated by my stepmother and even my father. I always wanted to meet my mother and sisters, which he never allowed me to do,” said Hani.
Hani has a few bits of memories about his childhood in Kerala. “I still remember our last journey. Dad told me ‘let’s go to Sudan’ and we went on a train. And I do remember I went to some kindergarten back there. Then, the entire life was changed in Sudan. All these years, I was told my mother is not good. But I never believed that.”
Finally, the Blindian siblings were reunited with the help of social media. Hani got his hands on his birth certificate and other documents including his mother’s photo and sought help from some Malayalees in Sudan. “I requested many of them to help me find my mother and sisters. After facing many refusals, finally, I got help from one person named Farooq, who posted all the documents on Facebook.”
The news of Hani’s search for his mother reached them through Rahim, an Abu Dhabi-based relative of the family. Soon they managed to contact him. But both of them had no idea how they could meet.
“I knew that my father wouldn’t allow me to go to my mom and siblings. So I had to chalk out a plan.”
Shameera managed to arrange a visit visa and flight ticket for Hani to Dubai as getting him to India was not that easy. “We are not rich people. My mother and sisters had to sell their jewelry to arrange the money for bringing him here. But, you know, the joy of getting our brother back is great and we are happy that we did it,” said Shameera.
Hani couldn’t stop crying after speaking to his mother over the phone. “He is still sad as he couldn’t meet her and other sisters. But we will make it possible soon, no matter what it would cost us. Now, we don’t want to lose him,” said a confident Shameera.
What next for the family?
Hani Nader Mergani Ali is a Sudanese citizen and now wants to get an Indian citizenship to be with his mother and sisters forever. “My friends’ advice is to find a job for him in Dubai to get a residence visa. Once it’s done, he can go to our mother and sisters. So our immediate requirement is a job for Hani and we are trying for that. We already approached Indian embassy in the UAE to know what are the requirements to get him an Indian passport,” said Shameera.
Hani is still moody that about not meeting his mother and other sisters. “I’m happy to meet Shameera. But I will be really happy when I meet my mother. Because of all my life, I missed her. I want to be with my mother as soon as possible,” he said when asked about his sad face.
It was a big moment for Hani when he called his mother. He couldn’t understand what his mother told him as he can’t understand Malayalam. But the emotions were beyond words. “Both of them were crying over the phone after they said hello to each other. It was a very emotional moment. Now, they do video calls and most of the time, both of them are in tears.
“I’m trying to compensate for all these years we lost. I’m taking care of my little brother as best as possible. We want to give him whatever he wants. Food, dress or anything,” said Shameera.
Click to watch the video of the siblings together
Courtesy: Khaleej Times