27 July 2005 12:58
A mother is hoping to be reunited with her abducted children for the
first time in three years this weekend.
Five years ago Anita Elgirnazi’s five eldest children were kidnapped and
taken to Libya where they are now living with their father Azzedin
Since then the 36-year-old from Saxlingham Thorpe has been battling to
get them home and was given a glimmer of hope this month when a Norwich
court convicted a man involved in their kidnapping.
This weekend Mrs Elgirnazi is flying to Libya on a trip organised by
international social services.
However, she will not know for sure whether or not she will see Rumaysa
Elgirnazi, now 16, Safiya, 14, Ali, 12, Hamza, nine, and Aisha, seven,
until she gets there.
“I’m not sure whether he (Mr Journazi) will bring them to the hotel
resort where we are staying or not,” she said. “All I want to do is see
my children, I have not got any other goals. I just want to prove to the
diplomatic services that I am still interested in seeing my children.
That I have made a determined effort to get out there.”
Mrs Elgirnazi’s nightmare began when the five children were taken by Mr
Journazi during a routine access visit in June 2000 following the
This weekend would be the first to Mrs Elgirnazi, who is a single parent
with two more children from a later relationship, saw her children since
she last visited the African country in 2002.
She said the last time she saw her children they were wearing outgrown
clothes and sleeping together in one room on the floor.
She still manages to speak to them on the phone once or twice a month
when their father is at the mosque and also has contact via email.
“They want to see me, I know that,” added Mrs Elgirnazi. “They’ve told me
they are looking forward to seeing me. I can’t wait to see them.”
Earlier this month, Norwich Crown Court heard how the plot to abduct the
children had involved al Qaida terrorists including failed shoe bomber
Richard Reid and Zacharias Moussaoui an alleged hijacker during the
September 11 attacks.
Another man, Mustapha Abushima, 45, was found guilty for his part in the
plot after he posed as their father to get them out of the country.
Mrs Elgirnazi believes the conviction proves her children were abducted
and she now hopes political leaders will back her fight to get them back.
She plans to appeal to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Prime Minister
Tony Blair for help.
Earlier this month the mother-of-seven revealed other plans to set up a
charity organization to help other parents in her situation.
Copyright © 2005 Archant Regional