Members of an extended Jewish Yemenite family reunited after 15 years this week after the United Arab Emirates government arranged for flights to Abu Dhabi.
Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported that family members flew in from Yemen and London, with several generations spending time together. For many, it was the first time that they had seen newer family members.
WAM ran the story accompanied by a video of the reunion, with the report subsequently retweeted by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who added: “The homeland of coexistence.”
While the family members were not named, the video shows different generations arriving, including an elderly lady in a wheelchair, who says: “My soul felt reborn when we reunited.”
A middle-aged man adds: “We never imagined we would reunite again after all these long, grim years. We lived alone in exile [in London] without family and siblings. I was lost.”
News of the UAE arrangements will go down well in Jerusalem, where last month an Israeli defence firm signed a momentous collaboration agreement with UAE’s Group 42 to jointly research ways to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
Israel’s respected Channel 12 News reported that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen helped broker the deal, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said was the result of “extensive and intensive contact in recent months”.