Manama: A Kuwaiti man was reunited with his family after 26 years in a dramatic development that has brought immense joy to his father and relatives.

Maher Al Mutairi was one year old when his Iraq mother took him with her to her home country following the invasion of Kuwait by the regime of President Saddam Hussain in August 1990.

In the tragic events, particularly the war that followed the invasion and the subsequent armed conflicts unrest in Iraq, all contact between the father and mother was lost, and the father was unable to track down his son, Kuwaiti daily Al Anba reported on Sunday.

“My son Maher and my wife left Kuwait following the invasion,” Bandar, the father, said. “He was so young and I do not even recall his facial features very well. However, he was always on my mind and he did not leave me mentally. I kept praying for the chance to be reunited with him as soon as possible, and I did my best locate him or to find someone who could tell me where he was. I never lost hope.” 

Two years ago, the father received a phone call from Maher who introduced himself and said that he wanted to go back to Kuwait.

“He told me that he was faring well and that he was living in the care of his uncle, but wanted to come home to live with me,” Bandar told the daily. “I immediately contacted the committees in charge of locating Kuwaiti citizens lost before and during the invasion and the war. I also contacted the Kuwaiti embassy in Iraq and the Kuwait Red Crescent. They all exerted great efforts to help with the return of my son.”

Father and son were eventually reunited on Saturday evening when Maher was able to cross the terrestrial border between Kuwait and Iraq at Abdelli.

“I am truly grateful to His Highness Amir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad, His Highness the Crown Prince Shaikh Nawaf Al Ahmad, the officials at the ministries of foreign affairs and interior and the staff at the Kuwaiti embassy in Iraq for their tremendous efforts to iron out all difficulties and ease the return of my son Maher,” the father said.