Cardiff girl trapped in Yemen returns home

The daughter of Jackie Saleh, Safia Saleh, her husband Labeb  and their children Mohammed 12; Jacqueline 11, Lucy 10, and Asalah aged 2 arrived safely in Cardiff late last night. They flew to Heathrow from Cairo via Morocco.  I was there at Heathrow Airport and saw the amazing moment the family was reunited. After being unlawfully taken from her mother almost 35 years ago, Safia Saleh is now back home in Ely, Cardiff with her mother Jackie.

Jackie Saleh said,

“I want to thank everybody for all your support and everyone who donated to the crowd funder. This day would have never happened otherwise.  I want to thank Neil McEvoy for all his support and in organising the crowd funder. I would like to thank Ameen for all his support in securing tickets and accommodation.

“I am very overwhelmed and so, so happy to be reunited with my daughter Safia after 34 years. I have also gained 4 grandchildren and a son in law. I never gave up fighting for my children. The 34 year journey has been a roller-coaster.  Everything has been so intense and I ask that our family be left now to start our new lives. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Safia Saleh said,

“I thank everyone here who helped. This situation was very hard, even just to get contact with my mam. The situation in the Yemen because of the war is very, very, difficult. We didn’t have the money to come to Wales, so my mother had to help.

“I have been trying to leave the Yemen since 2006. The Embassy in Yemen was no help at all. They just took the fees and did not help. I still have the receipts for the payments.

“I am very happy that I arrived to be with my mother and my sister. It was so difficult in the Yemen. We had no money, no house and no school for the children. There was no security.

“I have a feeling I cannot express with words. I feel safe now with my mother. I feel better.

My husband stood by me this whole time and was ready to do what he needed to do for the children, even if it meant saying goodbye to them. He was ready to sacrifice everything for us, but  we are so grateful that he is here with us.  I am very happy.”

Neil McEvoy said,

“It has been an absolute privilege to be able to help Jackie Saleh, Lucy and all the family. There are moments in life when it seems that all hope is lost. But Jackie and her family kept going for 34 years. She never gave up and has always fought for her daughters, even when they were thousands of miles away in a war zone. It just shows that anything is possible.

“I hope they can all now live in peace and dignity and that they have a happy home full of love. They deserve that. For my part, I’ll continue to help them in any way I can as they move on to the next chapter in their amazing story”.

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