UAE reunites Jewish families after 21 years apart

DG Staff

ABU DHABI 12 January 2021: The UAE has helped reunite two Jewish Yemeni families with their relatives whom they had not seen for decades.

The first family of 15 members, were reunited in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after UAE authorities facilitated the travel of family members from both Yemen and London.

Yitzhak Fayez, 35, told the Emirates News Agency, that he had not seen his grandparents and uncle since he was a child, after moving to the UK from Yemen. Fayez’s grandfather, grandmother and uncle were flown in from Yemen, as he and 11 family members, including five great grandchildren, flew in from London.

“The last time I saw them was as a child,” he said. “They are today meeting their great grandchildren for the first time.”

“Today, the UAE made my family’s dream come true after we had lost hope on getting reunited, after 21 years of separation.” The family were kept apart due to the situation in Yemen and financial difficulties.

Fayez further expressed his gratefulness to the solidarity and support they have received from UAE leadership.

Fayez’s mother, Losa Fayez, said that what happened had put an end to 21 years of suffering, while Soliman Fayez, the grandfather, and Sham’a Soliman, the grandmother, said she was elated over the family reunion in Abu Dhabi, describing the moment as one that will forever remain indelible in her memory.

The second family, the Salem family, were also reunited on Sunday after being parted for 15 years.

Haron Salem, his wife and two children were flown in from Yemen to meet their relative who lives in Abu Dhabi. “Words cannot express how grateful we are to the UAE. We are very happy being here reunited with our family member. The UAE is truly the homeland of love, tolerance and peace,” he said.

‘May God bless you,’ Rabbi Elie Abadie thanks UAE

Rabbi Elie Abadie, senior Rabbi of the Jewish Community of the UAE, has thanked the UAE government for what he described as “a great humanitarian deed” in uniting two Jewish Yemeni families after being separated for 21 years.

He tweeted on Monday, “Thanking the UAE Leadership for their humanitarian act @MohamedBinZayed @HHShkMohd”, Beirut-born Elie Abadie said.

Rabbi Elie Abadie

“As the senior Rabbi of the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates, I thank the government of the Emirates for their great humanitarian deed in uniting two Jewish Yemeni families after 21 years. May God bless you,” Abadie added in a video that he posted on Twitter.

Abadie is a prominent rabbi and scholar of Sephardic Judaism and was living in New York City, before relocating to the UAE to serve as the community’s senior rabbi. The Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) is the country’s oldest congregation.

Abadie is also the second full-time rabbi of the Jewish community of Dubai.

On Sunday, the UAE helped reunite two Jewish Yemeni families with their relatives whom they have not seen for decades.

The first family of 15 members, were reunited in Abu Dhabi after the Emirati authorities facilitated the travel of family members from both Yemen and London.

The second family, the Salem family, were also reunited on Sunday after being parted for 15 years.

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