Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mom reunites with daughter spirited away nearly 14 years ago

by Sara Jean Green from The Seattle Times (US: Washington)

The airport reunion Tuesday afternoon was the first time Ginger Mayes had seen her daughter in nearly 14 years, since the day her ex-husband spirited Zarminah, her older sister and younger brother away to Saudi Arabia ... "I never had freedom there. I've been wearing that black thing for 14 years ... and I just want to walk without the abaya," Zarminah said, referring to the traditional garment Saudi women must wear in public in accordance with Islamic laws of modesty. "I will respect Islam, but I don't have to cover up." According to the U.S. Department of Justice, family members abduct more than 200,000 American children each year, though it's unclear how many are taken overseas. And while more than 60 countries are parties to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction — which gives parents a legal mechanism to reunite with their children — Turkey is the only Muslim country to participate.

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