Abandoned by Palestinian father, children seek IDs
A Jordanian family here has appealed to the Saudi government and the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) to help three young Palestinians, abandoned by their father 17 years ago as toddlers, to get identity documents to complete their education, find work, marry and have access to medical care.
The three children were left in the care of the Jordanian family without any official paperwork after their mother died and their father left.
According to Riyadh Marwan Altheeb, his father agreed to sponsor and care for the two girls and their brother in his home. They all lived in the same town in Khamis Mushayt.
“At the time, the children were all under the age of three. My mother took pity on them because of the circumstances surrounding the death of their mother, and based on promises from their father that he would return after one month when conditions improved,” he said.
“However one month turned into 17 years. Their father did not spend anything on them, or visit. He does not know anything about them,” said Altheeb. “My family took the initiative to educate the girls through middle school, but we could not complete their education due to a lack of identification papers. As for their brother, we were able to get support and help him complete high school.”
He said the three are part of the family. “We’re calling on the authorities to intervene to complete their paperwork so that they are not deprived of future opportunities.”
He said the family has sent a telegram to Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Naif, the province of Khamis Mushayt and the NSHR in Asir, but have not been informed of a solution to the situation.
“We are eager to solve their situation. They are living here with honor and dignity. They would not consider returning to their father because he abandoned them. We are asking for official papers and for the young women to be under the guardianship of their 18-year-old brother.”
Altheeb said the family has received a lot of support from philanthropists in Saudi Arabia. All attempts to locate their father have failed, he said.
“I am appealing to the authorities to help these orphans secure the right to live with official papers to find work, get married, and live with no complications. We are also asking for help to search for their father so that he can help secure their papers, while we will take on all the expenses to complete it.”
Umm Riyadh, his mother, said: “They’ve lived in my home with complete dignity and honor, and I treated them like my own. I took the place of their mother after her death, but I want to secure the future of the girls so that they can get married and have treatment for certain medical conditions.”
She said she is only concerned about their future and not interested in any financial or material compensation. The family provides them with complete financial support.
She appealed to the government to help particularly since it is the holy month of Ramadan. “I’m prepared to give up my soul before giving up on them. I raised them, and all I ask is for remuneration from Allah.”