Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Syrian father tells of joy at son reunion in Midlothian

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Media captionMr Karou says he hopes the family's new life in Scotland will give Mohamed the childhood he had been denied

A man who was separated from his son during a bombing raid in Syria said he was "overwhelmed" to be reunited with him in Midlothian after five years.

Abedul Karou, his wife and two other children escaped Syria a year ago believing that their now 10-year-old son Mohamed had been killed.

However, the refugee family then found out Mohamed was alive but trapped alone in the war torn country.

Mohamed has now arrived in Scotland, where his family has been relocated.

Image caption Abedul Karou said he was overwhelmed to be reunited with his son, Mohamed

Mohamed's parents searched for him in Syria after the bombing in 2012, but could not find him and were told he was dead.

Years later, after the family had fled Syria, they heard he was alive.

His father twice smuggled himself back into Syria but could not get to Mohamed.

After the family moved to Penicuik in Scotland their local MP took on their case and finally their son was rescued after he was given a DNA test.

Image caption Mohamed (R) with his brother, sister and father
Image caption Mohamed playing with his brother and sister after being reunited in Midlothian

Mr Karou said: "I'm so happy, I cannot describe how happy I am, I'm overwhelmed. It really is a miracle to have him with me now.

"The war separated my son from me and this is probably the case of many families in Syria now.

"Our life was really, really difficult, I had sleepless nights. I had a really difficult time to cope and settle.

"It's been a long journey until we discovered he was alive."

He added: "I would especially like to thank my MP and the Scottish government and every member of the team who got involved in bringing my son to me.

"I won't forget the moment when our MP stood in the Houses of Parliament calling Theresa May to facilitate bringing my son back.

"If I could carry my MP on my shoulders and have a tour around Midlothian feeling proud of him, I would do it."

Midlothian SNP MP Owen Thompson said a crucial turning point was when he received an assurance from Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions that the case would be looked at.

He said: "It really is a brilliant day. We've been working on this case for months and to get a positive result, to get young Mohamed to join his family here in Midlothian is just fantastic.

"When you get involved in politics most people do because you want to help people and this was a situation that was one of the most desperate situations anyone could find themselves in and so to be able to get a positive result is brilliant."

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