accessibility & help

Mohamed’s story: ‘I missed my family so much’

After his father was killed during fighting in Sudan, Mohamed Arbab was forced to flee the country and leave his young family behind – but now we have helped reunite them.

Things had been bad in Sudan, but when fighting claimed the life of his father, Mohamed knew it was time to leave. “Everyone was killing each other,” he recalled. “That is why I left.”

The 35-year-old had been eking out a living as a farmer and market seller, but was barely earning enough to support his wife Arafa and young daughter Kholoud. Eventually, he made the heart-breaking decision to leave his family in a refugee camp and try to find a new life for them abroad.

Reuniting families

Mohamed embarked on a long journey, which ended with him claiming asylum In the UK. After a long, drawn-out process, he was finally granted refugee status and settled in Cardiff.

But he missed his family every day. He recalled: “My situation was very difficult and I did not know what I was going to do.” However, help was just around the corner. At a British Red Cross clothing project, Mohamed learned about the organisation’s travel assistance scheme, which helps reunite displaced families.

Mohamed recalled: “I was very distressed and worried every day for my family, as Sudan was not a safe place for them to be. When the Red Cross said they could help, it meant so much to me – it meant we could all start a new life.”

Always grateful

And that’s how a smiling Mohamed found himself at Cardiff Airport waiting for his wife Arafa (27) and daughter Kholoud (now seven years old) to walk through the arrivals gate. He said: “When I saw them at the airport, it made me feel so happy.”

After their tearful reunion, Mohamed said: “I missed my family so much when I was away, especially my daughter. It was such a long time without them, but I am doing my best for them now.”

The family is now happily settled in Cardiff, but Mohamed will always be grateful for the help he received: “All of this would not have been possible without the Red Cross.”

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