Al-Menasa – Karbala
After 28 years of separation from her lost baby son and 28 years of searching for his destiny, Zahra Watban Kazem, the 60-year-old woman finally found her son just a few days ago who is now at his 3os of his age.
When Zahra lost her son, he was 10 years old. The city of Basra, where this family used to live in, was in a state of chaos like several Iraqi cities in February 1991 when popular Shiite opposition to the former Saddam’s regime broke out and chaos spread everywhere and looting raged in the cities.
Zahra Sais that “The people were busy looting the grain and mill stores in the Hakimya area of Basra,” and also adds that “The army bombed our areas with guns and one of the rockets fell on our house. My daughter died immediately and Ammar was lost.”
Zahra Watban also says that “Later, my daughter was buried in the English cemetery because the dead and cemeteries were closed because of the chaos. I was looking for Ammar, who disappeared and I did not find his body, but years later I knew he was burned in the bombardment and the fire flared in his body and my son with people saved their own lives by passing towards the Iranian border. An English woman called Emma Nicholson took my son to Britain, adopted him and then founded an organization bearing his name. Zahra “Umm Ammar” has moved for years to live in the district of Karbala province after losing her sons Ammar and Zainab in single accident in Basra. Umm Ammar mother then also lost her son Uday at the hands of the extremist ISIS organization in Mosul, whose remains and body have not been found so far.
Jummaa Khudair Kazim, the husband of Zahra and father of Ammar recalls “We tried very hard to find Ammar and we searched at length everywhere but wedid not get a thread until finally we heard that a British woman had presented her case to her country’s parliament, who oversaw the raising of their lost child and then we realized that our son is alive and this is true.”
In his long search for his son, one day Jumaa found a hanged board on a two-storey house in Basra that read “Ammar International Organization.” He inquired about the organization’s status and knew that it was the same one that the British woman had founded in the name of their lost child. He told them that he was Ammar’s father and that his mother had been looking for him for many years.
Mr. Jumaa, the father of Ammar says that “At first they were not satisfied with my words that Ammar is my son and I am his father. They told me that Ammar is an orphan and he has no family. But we did not give up and we resorted NRT Arabic television channcel and we presented our case and our story and how we lost Ammar. The organization contacted us and asked to analyze the DNA of the mother. They later find out the DNA compatibility of my wife Zahra and with my son Ammar”.
Umm Ammar’s encounter with her son was short which lasted only a day and a half but her joy is not described by this long-awaited meeting. Umm Ammar says “I waited for him since time I cannot remember, but finally I met my son, I hugged him and examined his body and we found that tattoo was placed on our hands together and I did not fear death. I was afraid that I may die before I see my child again, but I do not mind death as all my wishes are granted and I have seen my son again.
As for the story of the tattoo on Ammar and her mother’s hand her mother Zahra says: “Ammar was accompanying me wherever I went and one day I took him to the woman who draws the tattoo and I painted on the hands of inscriptions I admired Amar and asked me to put the same painting on his hand and in the same place and after a little hesitation I agreed and then we are both already have the same tattoo on our hands and “On the day we meet each other I extended my hand to see his hand and when I found the same tattoo on his hand then we become sure”.
Today Zahra dreams to live again with her newly found son and after their reunification by destiny. She says ” I wish he comes back and lives with us again just like the way he used to live with us in the past and or I wish we can go and live with him. There is not much left for us in this world and I want to spend my last days with my son.”