Please help us to get kidnapped Faris (7) back home
Published 30/08/2014 | 10:03
A Dublin family has suffered more heartache when a little Irish boy abducted five years ago had his seventh birthday in Egypt.
Faris Daniel Heeney was two years old when he was smuggled out of Ireland against his mother's wishes. He lives with his father and his new wife in a town north of Cairo.
His mother, Norma (34), and her family have fought a five-year battle to bring him back to Ireland but they have been unsuccessful.
Norma lives with her parents in Clonsilla in Dublin and is exhausted and frustrated by her struggle.
She and her family speak to Faris on Skype but they ache to hug him and have him home in Dublin.
They sent Faris the presents for his seventh birthday that he requested: Ironman and Superman figurines, a water balloon, a football, clothes and footwear.
Faris is learning English in school and the Heeneys are learning Arabic in Dublin.
Norma said on a previous occassion: "Faris was my life...My heart is ripped out." Norma's mother Marian (59), speaking to the Herald, renewed the family's appeal to the Irish Government to help bring Faris back.
"It's a nightmare. We've been praying for a miracle," said Mrs Heeney.
Norma, Marian and other family members have visited Faris in Egypt but they were not allowed to take him back.
Norma had been in a two-year relationship with Faris's father, Amir Ismaeil, when they both worked in a Dublin hospital.
After it ended, Norma allowed Faris to have a sleepover in her father's home in Dublin. But when she went to collect him the next day, she was told he was in Egypt.
Ismaeil's brother, Moustafa, had smuggled him out of Ireland having dressed him as a girl. Moustafa was later sentenced to six years in an Irish prison for abduction and served four years. Amir and another brother were on bail in Ireland on a sex attack charge but they fled Ireland. Amir frequently contacts Norma demanding more money for Faris's upkeep.
Marian Heeney said: "I have travelled over to Egypt to see Faris. The last time, there was a lot of trouble in the streets and crowds were burning tyres. I kept a scarf over my head.
"I visited Moustafa in prison in Ireland. He cried and said he was sorry for taking Faris from my daughter. I felt I had to forgive him," she said.
Contributions are invited to the family's Fetch Faris Fund: Permanent TSB, Blanchardstown, Sort Code: 99-06-11. Account number: 19438454.