|By Fuat Kircaali||
|March 3, 2011 12:45 PM EST||
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
To the President of Syria, Mr. and Mrs. Bashar al-Assad
Mrs. President and First Lady of Syria Asma al-Assad:
I wrote an open letter addressing you and Mr. President seven months ago. I've been informed that you read my letter. I've also been informed that you will read this follow-up letter as well.
Seven months ago, at the tender age of 17 months, my severely ill daughter Sofia, an American citizen, was abducted by her mother on Monday, July 26, in Istanbul, Turkey, and taken to Syria. Following her abduction, I was informed by Sofia's mother that she will not allow Sofia to return home.
Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali
Sofia has been diagnosed with a severe medical condition that requires immediate treatment in the United States. It was scheduled to start on July 27, 2010, in New Jersey, the day after her abduction, and was supposed to last until she reaches the age of 3. Any delay in the urgently needed treatment will result in a life-long disability for Sofia and make her dependent for the whole of her adult life. The treatment is not available in Syria.
Today, I received an official correspondence from the United States State Department regarding Sofia's welfare and current condition in Syria. I received the letter from the following office:
UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT - BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF CHILDREN'S ISSUES
UNITED STATES CENTRAL AUTHORITY
HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE CIVIL ASPECTS OF
INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION
The "unclassified" letter updates me on recent activity in Sofia's case and the actions that have been taken by "The Office of Children's Issues" and the U.S. Embassy in Damascus.
The letter explains that the United States State Department received an "official reporting cable" from the U.S. Embassy in Damascus concerning their visit with Sofia.
A copy of the "classified" report was also included with this letter.
Seven months after my daughter's abduction, I plead once more with you on behalf of my daughter Sofia to learn of her whereabouts and see her safely and speedily returned home. I also respectfully request a visa to Syria to meet her at the United States Embassy in Damascus to bring her home.
Mrs. President, parents around the world have only the Hague Convention to rely on in international child abduction cases. I urge your humanitarian consideration, as the mother of a precious child, to fight for Syria to be a part of the Hague Convention. I thank you in advance.
The recent highly publicized piece in Vogue magazine describes you as a humanitarian with a passion for children's issues, among other things.
Like you and Mr. President Bashar al-Assad, loving parents of your son, little Hafez al-Assad, I do not wish to see my precious daughter Sofia in one of the orphanages you often visit in your country.
I await your response and hope the Syrian Government will take urgent action to assist the United States Embassy in Damascus in their search for my daughter and with her safe return home.
I thank you in advance for your prompt response.
Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali
Mr. Barack Obama, The President of the United States
Mrs. Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State
Mrs. Sharon Anderholm Wiener, Outgoing Consul General to Istanbul, Turkey
Mr. Charles F. (Chuck) Hunter, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Damascus
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