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A Family Reunion, 31 Years Later

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at London Met chapter.

Warda Ibrahim (50) discovered her son is alive after 31 years. An emotional and tearful reunion took place after all these years in Germany where she and her son both live.

“There is no word powerful enough to describe the pain I went through, I thought my baby was dead for 31 years. I missed out on everything I wanted to be a part of which my son and I can never get back… It’s painful, it’s painful to a degree I wouldn’t wish upon my enemy”. She says as her eyes fill up with tears bursting to roll down her beautifully aged skin.

Warda’s interesting life-story is a story worth writing and reading, because it is a story full of pain and suffering. Her lover kidnapped her when she was 18 in Kurdistan Iraq. Her strict Christian family were against her marrying a Muslim boy. Her and her soon to be husband had no choice but to run away together to marry.

No different to a tragic romance tale, they ran away to the capital of Iraq, Bagdad and were living in fear as both sides of their family were in search to kill them for bringing shame to their family. Soon after their runaway Warda fell pregnant and gave birth to her now 32 year old son Yusif. Her marriage broke down and there were too many differences between her Christian culture and her husband’s strict and traditional Muslim upbringing. He became violent and too aggressive to live with. “I was scared. Only 18, I realised the man I had given up my life and family for was not the man I thought I knew. I had nothing left but him. And I did not know this man anymore.”

Under extreme stress and sadness she took the risk and ran away from her husband, leaving her toddler behind. She travelled through Europe illegally till she reached Germany and gained citizenship to stay permanently. Warda was not in contact with anyone from her or her husband’s family. They would kill her if they found her. She was given false and nasty news that her son had fallen ill and died a few months after her run away. “It was my ex-husbands tactic, he made me believe my sons dead so I would not return for him.” Alone and lonely in a country she felt a stranger at did not help her emotional state. “I suffered extreme depression for years, I felt guilt and emptiness, I thought my baby had died because I had left him, it was horrible”. My life was complete isolation from the world, I had kept myself away from living by constantly blaming myself. Most my days were passed through tears; this was my life till I met my husband and fell in love again. He cared for me and helped me to live again”.

After many years Warda’s brother finally found her and confessed her son is still alive and had moved to Germany to find her a few years ago. “I lost every strength in my bone and dropped to the floor, I didn’t know how to enjoy the happiness of knowing my child was still alive, the pain was too overpowering, I had been lied to and made to suffer all these years, how could they fake my own sons death, the child I had given birth to, my child was dead to me for all these years, what could possibly fix this…”

“I couldn’t wait, I didn’t want to wait. I made my brother drive me to his house a few hours away from Berlin straight away. It was late; we got there after mid night. As soon as he opened the door my eyes captured a man, a man I didn’t know… I must have passed out; I woke up in my son and brothers arms. He was crying. He had my eyes, round sad hazel eyes. We stayed up all night talking, it was painful to feel awkwardness between us, he was a grown man now.”   

Warda and Yusif are now in contact and often see each other. They are trying to build a son and mother bond, which is reasonably difficult after the many years they’ve been apart. “I’m sad I never had the chance to have a bond with my mother, it’s agonizing knowing my father had lied to me all these years. I didn’t know they had told my mother I was dead. I believed what my father had told me and assumed she did not love me. I had a difficult childhood, I felt unwanted and lonely without my mother…” Yusif says slowly, his hands reach behind his head and rub against the back off his neck as he speaks the painful words; he hesitates every time my questions bring back flashbacks of his motherless childhood.

They both sit and answer my questions trying to find words to describe their pain, but there are no words to fully justify the description of their sufferings.

Hi!My name is Norresa Perucho and I am a 3rd year journalism student at London Metropolitan University, working part time as a receptionist at a health club in a 4* hotel in West London.I own my own blog known as rawpetiteness.wordpress.com and I am also a Campus Correspondent for U.S. based website known asHer Campus, in which I am the editor of the London Met page.My family are from The Philippines but I am a native English speaker which has helped me to further develop my passion in writing and journalism.I have journalism work experience at Gay Times, Women’s Health UK, Surrey Herald Newspapers and Fil-Event.com.I also have a 2 year experience as an event manager for a dance competition known as the, ‘FYF Dance Competition’ where I managed a group of volunteers, learnt about time management and the group work.I have also experience a security guard at the London Olympics 2012, Wimbledon site as an X-Ray Scanner, bag searcher and body searcher.I love going out to eat, shopping and watching films in the cinema. I also love summer beach holidays. I hate the cold, the rain and nearly all sorts of vegetables... well: onions, garlic, ginger, eww.  I also love the sound of my own voice!A selfie-fanatic, and busting dance moves in front of the mirror, I love to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.You’re most likely to find me stuffing my face with burgers and steaks!Contact me on: Norresaperucho@live.com & @rawpetiteness  HCXO