Yemenite Jewish family reunited in deal brokered by United Arab Emirates

Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported that family members flew in from Yemen and London, with several generations spending time together


The efforts of the United Arab Emirates to boost its reputation for religious tolerance have continued with the arrangement of a reunion for a Jewish Yemenite family that had been separated for 15 years.

A report on the state-owned Emirates News Agency detailed how the government had  “facilitated the travel of family members from Yemen to the UAE” and also arranged for other family members living in London to join them.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also tweeted a link to the report, adding the words, in Arabic: “The homeland of coexistence.”

“It was nothing short of a miracle and the realization of an impossible dream,” the family was quoted as saying.

“We thank the UAE for their great support in arranging the reunion. This is an example of the UAE’s humanitarian approach, as well as of its noble values of tolerance and coexistence.”

Another family member said: “My soul felt reborn the moment we were reunited.

“We never imagined we would reunite again after all these long, grim years,” a middle-age man added, speaking in Arabic. “We lived alone in exile [in London] without family and siblings. I was lost.”

A video showing the family members, some of whom were wearing black velvet skullcaps and long side curls, embracing and handing each other flowers and other gifts at the Abu Dhabi airport was also posted on social media.

But there was no explanation as to why the family had not seen one another for 15 years.

“The Jewish residents of the UAE have witnessed first-hand the sustained and courageous practice of tolerance and fraternity followed by the Rulers of the UAE over many years,” the Jewish Council of the Emirates said in a statement issued Sunday.

“The happiness of this family is something all of us can understand and share,” said Ross Kriel, the council’s president.

“We are thrilled that the charitable efforts of the UAE, which are based on a concept of universal human dignity, have met with success and are becoming known to a broader global audience.”





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