In Search Of Father For 35 Years
Saudi Gazette, Riyadh
Jan 9, 2009
Zubair is presumably a Saudi by father’s blood, and Indian by mother’s. But officially he is Indian. That is what his passport says.
He has no claim to the Saudi identity but his long-absent-father is searching for him.
He never saw his father who divorced his mother 35 years ago when she was still pregnant with him.
The father went away, becoming a bygone Nobody for the mother’s side seemed to know nothing about him.
Zubair told Al-Riyadh he has relatives in Saudi Arabia, but he doesn’t know where to find them.
His mother started a new life and got married to an Omani man, with whom she had sons and daughters.
Still in search of family, Zubair went to Oman to meet his Omani step-brothers and sisters.
Zubair spoke little Arabic. He was supposed to be bilingual. But from who he could learn Arabic? His father abandoned him even when he was brought up by his mother who only spoke to him in Urdu.
He passed the age of puberty where his chances to learn Arabic as a native speaker were still good.
But he communicated well and bonded with his step-brothers and sisters.
Now they have come to help him to find his father.
Zubair might be a victim of a marriage to a foreign wife abandoned by her Saudi husband. And he is paying the price for it: no identity, and a life on the margin of life.
His Omani stepsister, Zahra, revealed her brother’s agony.
Zubair called her in Oman saying “My mother, Farida Abdul Sattar Khan had been married to a Saudi man named Abdullah Saleh Mahdi before she got married to my father Ahmed Al-Amri,” she said.
Passport number, number of marriage contract issued in India and the son’s birth certificate have been witheld.
They got married in India on April 2nd, 1973. After marriage, Zubair’s father took his new wife to Qatar where he worked.
A year later, he divorced her while she was pregnant with Zubair.
She returned to her family in India and a few months later gave birth to her baby boy, Zubair.
Zahra continued telling the story as she heard it from Zubair.
The mother obtained a birth certificate for him. The mother’s father sent a letter to the baby’s father in Qatar telling him that his ex-wife had delivered a baby boy for him, but received no reply.”
Zahra further said, “When the boy was one year old, his mother Farida got married to an Omani man and she came to Oman leaving her son from the first marriage in the care of her family in India.
At that time, the efforts to look for his father continued but they were fruitless.
When the father never showed up or at least communicated with his ex-wife about their child, another birth certificate was obtained for him, but in that he was given the middle and last name of his grandfather, Abdul Sattar. With his mother, Zubair shared the middle and last name. They were officially brother and sister. The biological father was then officially removed from his life.
It was the only way out to get Zubair an ID card. He was living and studying with a fake ID card and traveling with a fake passport, but all within the limits of the law. He was not a criminal, but rather a man with a fake ID in searching of his true ID.
“Zubair is now 35-years-old, married and has a job,” Zahra said. He is a man who has never seen his father or knows anything about him.
Two years ago, Zubair heard that his father had finally come to India to look for him, but he left without even leaving a phone number to call.
Zahra proved to be a good sister.
She appealed to almost everyone who knew Zubair’s father to help them find him and alleviate the agony Zubair has gone through in three decades.
She said she submitted a request for help with the Saudi embassy in Muscat. Thankfully she said the embassy took the initiative to start contacting the concerned authorities in the Kingdom to help in searching for his father.
The embassy reportedly confirmed that Zubair’s story was true, saying they had the case filed with them.
Zubair is staying with his mother and brothers and sister in Oman for emotional support until he finds his father. But if he doesn’t, the “Saudi” Zubair will return to India and will live there.
The Saudi Embassy in Muscat has reportedly sent a memo to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about this case, which showed interest to help “Saudi citizen” Zubair.