Abdi's health has deteriorated and he is now being cared for in a hospice. Fatuma wishes to share the following comment from Abdi: "Fatuma, I wish even if I pass away he (Saacid) will come. Keep the children all together with you. I am not worrying in the grave because I leave my children in the hands and safety of Australia." Friday 24 October, 2014
To: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison
REUNITE THIS LONG-LOST FAMILY
Fatuma continues to work towards reuniting her family. Watch the next update on her story on The Project, Channel 10, TONIGHT, Monday 22 June 2015, at 6.30pm.
UPDATE: On Friday, 23 January 2015, Fatuma was finally reunited with her son, Saacid, in Hagadera refugee camp, Kenya after 23 years apart. This reunion was only made possible because thousands of Australians raised just over $20,000 to get Fatuma and her youngest son, Abshir, there, where they will spend a month together with Saacid.
When we spoke with Fatuma in Kenya, over the phone, she sounded so animated and repeatedly told us how lucky and excited she is, and how she wishes to thank each and every person in the Australian community who has made this reunion with her son possible.
Fatuma conveyed such a vivid and incredibly poignant image of the moment she set eyes on Saacid when she saw him waiting for her on her arrival at the camp after the 10 hour bus trip from Nairobi. She recognized him immediately, despite the extraordinary amount of time that they have been separated.
Fatuma described how her son, this proud young man who has patiently waited to be reunited with his mother, has been presenting her to every one they meet, asking "Have you met my Mum…this is my Mum!"
UPDATE: On Friday 23 January 2015, Fatuma was finally reunited with her son, Saacid, in Hagadera refugee camp, Kenya, after 23 years apart....
A text from her youngest son states:
"Mum arrived in Hagadera (refugee camp) and she is fine and she finally meets Saacid. She cry because Saacid is changed ....he was a little boy and now he is a big man"
This reunion is only possible because of all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Jane & Joan
It is with great sadness that we tell you Abdi passed away at dawn on Sunday, 2 November. He looked peaceful and was surrounded by most of his family, but unfortunately Saacid wasn't there with him.
Fatuma is now desperately hoping to fly to Kenya to comfort her son, and we have launched a fundraising campaign to try to get her there. If you have a few dollars to spare, the family would be so very thankful for your help. You can securely donate here:
Dear Minister Morrison,
We urge you to use your discretionary powers as Australia's Immigration Minister to expedite a remaining relative visa for Saacid, whose father Abdi is dying of terminal liver cancer in Darwin. They have not seen each other for 23 years.
With a prognosis of no more than 3 months to live, Abdi's last dying wish is to set his eyes upon his long-lost son Saacid and say goodbye. The last time Abdi and his wife Fatuma saw their son was 23 years ago when Saacid was just 9 years old. They lost one another while fleeing war torn Somalia.
In 2007, the family were miraculously reconnected via telephone when the Red Cross found Saacid living in the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya. Abdi and Fatuma applied for a last remaining relative visa for Saacid and have been waiting in line patiently for four years. Abdi and Fatuma have done all the right things, but time is running out. We plead with you to expedite Saacid's visa so that a dying father may see and know his son.
Why is this important?
The Australian government are aware that Abdi, Fatuma and Saacid have been waiting more than four years, but this was their response:
“…we must finalise applications based on the date order in which they were queued. We do not have capacity to priority process applications ahead of the queue date, regardless of the applicant’s situation”
Abdi and Fatuma have been ‘queuing’ patiently, but with Abdi recently finding out that he is also at risk of sudden death they can't just wait in line for bureaucracy to run its course. Time is running out. This cannot be about bureaucracy or waiting in line, this is about Abdi and Saacid - it's a real human story of a dying father asking for the chance to see his son for the first and last time in 23 years. Abdi wants nothing more than to see the adult that his 9 year old son grew into, and to know him during his last remaining days.
Minister Morrison, you have the power to expedite Saacid's visa --- Abdi, Fatuma, Saacid and all of us who know and love this family ask for you to grant this.
We are the two former Red Cross workers who ran the search for Abdi and Fatuma's son and have known the family ever since. Over the years we've spent a lot of time together, so much so that now Fatuma refers to us as her daughters. We know all Abdi and Fatuma's children and grand kids, and they are a lovely family. All of them have become Australian citizens and often talk about how Australia saved them and how much they have loved it here.
Despite having lived an incredibly hard life, Fatuma and Abdi have never lost their ability to care about others and are some of the most inspirational and caring people we know.
Before coming to Australia, Abdi and Fatuma spent 15 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, during which time Fatuma worked for UN agencies and other non-government organisations promoting rights of women, community development and anti-violence programs. Her advocacy work meant the family were often threatened and the UN eventually resettled them in Australia. Upon arrival in Darwin, Abdi and Fatuma established a successful family day care business out of their own home and Fatuma also acted as the Northern Territory representative for the Somali community for many years. The family are highly respected and loved by the Darwin community.
Mr Morrison please allow Abdi and Saacid the chance to know one another and to say goodbye. Please expedite his visa before it's too late, time is running out.
Watch Abdi and Fatuma on last week's episode of Channel 10's The Project:
Here are some news articles already published about Abdi and Fatuma's story:
How it will be delivered
We will organise a petition delivery and invite supporters and media to attend. Thank you for helping us!
* This petition was started by us, Jane and Joan, who have the interest of the family at heart. It does not represent the views of any organisations.