Torn apart by war, teen reunites with family after 14 years

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - After two years of trying, and 14 years apart, a Utah family is reunited with their son. 

They were separated by the civil war in Somalia, and because of the efforts of several local organizations he was finally able to return to Utah. 

The new travel ban is set to take effect October 18, and his family was worried 16-year-old Fuad Mohamud wouldn't make it in time. Thankfully for the family, was scheduled to arrive Wednesday night where he was greeted by his parents and his brothers and sisters most of whom he's never met in person.

"I'm so happy today you know I can't express my feeling today how happy I am as a mother,” said Zamzam Takal.

Zamzam Takal and her husband Mohamed Yogol could barely contain their excitement as their son Fuad was set to arrive in the US Wednesday after 14 years apart.

Fuad was taken to Ethiopia with his grandmother for medical treatment, while his parents and siblings stayed at a refugee camp in Kenya. By the time Mohamed and his family were approved to move to Utah, they had to make the hardest decision, of escaping the war, or staying behind to find their son.

"My wife and I were crying every night feeling that we did not want to leave our son behind, but at that time the border between Kenya and Ethiopia was closed,” said Mohamed Yogol, his father.

Mohamed moved to the US and stayed in touch with his son and grandmother.
He eventually became a citizen, and began the long two-year process of getting his son to Utah. After help from Catholic Community Services and Senator Orin Hatch's office their dream is finally came true. 

For his brothers and sisters, they can't wait to see him in person.

"I really don't remember what he looks like. For me to see him for the first time it's just amazing,” Fathi Mohamud, sister.

Fuad’s flight arived around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Catholic Community Services who is key in helping refugees relocate says cases like this are not rare, and sadly the amount of war over the last several years has left even more situations like this happening in the world.


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