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Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in plane wheel wells have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner bound for Hawaii. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

Late last year, an acquaintance at the camp, Uways Salad Jama, who had resettled in California was able to contact Abdi and his siblings with the news that their mother was alive and living in Shedder Camp, said a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Fati Lejeune Kaba.

“The kids were very disappointed, and ended up in a fight with their father, and asked him to send them back to where their mother lived,” Kaba told the AP by phone from Geneva. “The father still insisted that their mother had died.”

“At that point, Yahya Abdi didn’t believe that his mother had died, and that’s when he resorted to do everything he can to go and find her.”

Abdule was distraught after she learned of her son’s ordeal from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me rather than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, he hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the opposite direction of Ethiopia. Somehow he survived the 5 1/2-hour trip over the Pacific, despite extreme cold and low oxygen levels. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy had recently learned she was alive after being told by his father that she was dead, Abdule said. She said her ex-husband took Abdi and his two siblings to California without her knowledge and that she hadn’t heard from them since 2006.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The boy’s father Abdilahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided the distraught mother with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, Abdule said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali woman lives in a stick hut covered by ragged blankets in this dusty refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on a perilous journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there last week in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Clutching her black-and-white head covering, she wept Sunday as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son, Yahya Abdi.

She was alarmed, she said, by the dangerous journey the teenager undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

Yahya Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, Abdi hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the opposite direction of Ethiopia. Somehow he survived the sub-zero temperatures and lack of oxygen. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule told an Associated Press reporter in this remote camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The boy’s father, Abdulahi Yusuf, had lied to their three children, Abdule said, telling them that she was dead.

“He first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I wanted a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

Yusuf said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, arrived in the camp in early 2010, after fleeing heavy fighting in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided the distraught mother with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked. With the support of our partners, we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke of her son, Abdi.

Mother and son have had no contact since he moved to the U.S. in 2006. Abdele said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” Abdule said.

The teen’s father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with him and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” The family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe, Yusuf said.

Abdule said she hasn’t been able to eat since learning of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they be with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two other children, an 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, living with her in the camp.

Abdule may yet be able to reunite with her children in the U.S., U.N. officials said.

She has passed her first interview with the U.N. refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali mother’s home is a frame of sticks covered by ragged blankets on the dusty grounds of this refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on an impossible journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Wearing a black and white head covering, Abdule wept as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son. She told journalists from The Associated Press, who traveled to see her in remote eastern Ethiopia, that she was alarmed by the dangerous method of travel her son undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

But Yahya Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, Abdi hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the opposite direction of Ethiopia. Somehow he survived the sub-zero temperatures and lack of oxygen. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule said.

Abdule has not even spoken to her son by phone. The boy’s father has lied to their three children, the mother said, telling them that she’s dead.

“The father of Yahya first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I want a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The father, Abdulahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, moved into the camp in early 2010, leaving behind the Somali capital of Mogadishu where heavy fighting was occurring. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided Abdule with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked at the time. With the support of our partners we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Whenever she talked about her son in the AP interview, tears rolled down her cheeks.

Abdule said she has not spoken with her son since he moved to the U.S. in 2006 because, she believes, his father won’t let him. She said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” said Abdule, whose name has also been spelled as Abdullahi in other news reports but is spelled Abdule on U.N. documents. The two names are often interchangeable in Somali culture.

The father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with his son and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” He said the family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe.

Abdule says she hasn’t been eating since learning of the news of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her now ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they rather be here with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two children living with her in the camp, ages 8 and 5, fathered by a different man.

But the mother may still be reunited with her children in the United States.

Abdule has passed her first interview with the United Nations refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali mother’s home is a frame of sticks covered by ragged blankets on the dusty grounds of this refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on an impossible journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Wearing a black and white head covering, Abdule wept as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son. She told journalists from The Associated Press, who traveled to see her in remote eastern Ethiopia, that she was alarmed by the dangerous method of travel her son undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

But Yahya Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, Abdi hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the opposite direction of Ethiopia. Somehow he survived the sub-zero temperatures and lack of oxygen. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule said.

Abdule has not even spoken to her son by phone. The boy’s father has lied to their three children, the mother said, telling them that she’s dead.

“The father of Yahya first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I want a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The father, Abdulahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, moved into the camp in early 2010, leaving behind the Somali capital of Mogadishu where heavy fighting was occurring. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided Abdule with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked at the time. With the support of our partners we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Whenever she talked about her son in the AP interview, tears rolled down her cheeks.

Abdule said she has not spoken with her son since he moved to the U.S. in 2006 because, she believes, his father won’t let him. She said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” said Abdule, whose name has also been spelled as Abdullahi in other news reports but is spelled Abdule on U.N. documents. The two names are often interchangeable in Somali culture.

The father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with his son and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” He said the family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe.

Abdule says she hasn’t been eating since learning of the news of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her now ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they rather be here with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two children living with her in the camp, ages 8 and 5, fathered by a different man.

But the mother may still be reunited with her children in the United States.

Abdule has passed her first interview with the United Nations refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali mother’s home is a frame of sticks covered by ragged blankets on the dusty grounds of this refugee camp. It was here that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel on an impossible journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy – who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there in the wheel well of a jetliner – for eight long years.

Wearing a black and white head covering, Abdule wept as she stood before the flimsy shelter holding her meager possessions and spoke about her son. She told journalists from The Associated Press, who traveled to see her in remote eastern Ethiopia, that she was alarmed by the dangerous method of travel her son undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and many who attempt it are Africans desperate for a better life in Europe or America.

But Yahya Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, according to those who know his family. So on April 20, Abdi hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the opposite direction of Ethiopia. Somehow he survived the sub-zero temperatures and lack of oxygen. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule said.

Abdule has not even spoken to her son by phone. The boy’s father has lied to their three children, the mother said, telling them that she’s dead.

“The father of Yahya first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S. if I want a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S. without my knowledge.”

The father, Abdulahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

Shedder Refugee Camp, in far eastern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia, is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, moved into the camp in early 2010, leaving behind the Somali capital of Mogadishu where heavy fighting was occurring. She earns a small income selling vegetables in the camp market.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided Abdule with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend who lives in the U.S., said Kibebew Abera, a camp official.

“She was panicked at the time. With the support of our partners we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Whenever she talked about her son in the AP interview, tears rolled down her cheeks.

Abdule said she has not spoken with her son since he moved to the U.S. in 2006 because, she believes, his father won’t let him. She said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” said Abdule, whose name has also been spelled as Abdullahi in other news reports but is spelled Abdule on U.N. documents. The two names are often interchangeable in Somali culture.

The father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with his son and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” He said the family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe.

Abdule says she hasn’t been eating since learning of the news of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her now ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they rather be here with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S.,” said Abdule, who has two children living with her in the camp, ages 8 and 5, fathered by a different man.

But the mother may still be reunited with her children in the United States.

Abdule has passed her first interview with the United Nations refugee agency’s list of those who might qualify to immigrate to America, said a legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.

Stowaway boy’s refugee mom cries for son

KDWN

SHEDDER REFUGEE CAMP, Ethiopia (AP) — The Somali mother’s home is a small shelter with a frame of sticks covered by ragged blankets on the dusty grounds of a refugee camp. It was to her that her 15-year-old son wanted to travel to on an impossible journey as a stowaway on a plane from California.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule hasn’t seen her boy, who was hospitalized in Hawaii after landing there in the wheel well of a jetliner, for eight long years.

Wearing a black cloth head covering with white diamond pattern, Abdule wept as she stood before her flimsy shelter with her meager possessions inside and spoke about her son. She told journalists from The Associated Press who traveled to see her in remote eastern Ethiopia that she was alarmed by the dangerous method of travel her son undertook. Those who stow away in wheel wells of airplanes have little chance of surviving, and those who attempt it are often Africans trying to get to a better life in Europe or America.

But Yahya Abdi had been unhappy in California and desperately missed his mother, those who know his family there said. So on April 20, Abdi hopped a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbed into a wheel well of a jetliner. It was bound for Hawaii, the wrong way. He has not spoken publicly about the ordeal.

“I knew he was an intelligent boy who has strong affections for me. I also knew he always wanted to see me, but I know his father won’t let them contact me at all,” Abdule said.

Abdule has not even spoken to her son by phone. The boy’s father has lied to their three children, the mother said, telling them that she’s dead.

“The father of Yahya first took the children away from me to Sudan. Then he came back to Somalia and demanded my consent for him to take the children to the U.S if I want a formal divorce. I was not OK with that and said no,” Abdule said through tears. “Finally, he took all three of my children to the U.S without my knowledge.”

The father, Abdulahi Yusuf, said in a statement Sunday issued through a family spokesman in California that his son was “struggling adjusting to life” in America.

“Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States,” the statement said.

The Shedder Refugee Camp is in far eastern Ethiopia, near the border with Somalia, and is home to some 10,300 Somalis who fled their country because of Islamic militant violence. Most Somalis here are from minority groups who face persecution.

Abdule, 33, moved into the camp in early 2010, leaving behind the Somali capital of Mogadishu where heavy fighting was occurring. She earns a small income by selling vegetables in the camp market.

Kibebew Abera, a camp official, said the Ethiopian government’s refugee office provided Abdule with psychological support after she heard about her son’s story from a friend of hers who lives in the U.S.

“She was panicked at the time. With the support of our partners we provided her with advice and consultation,” he said.

Whenever she talked about her son in the AP interview, tears rolled down her cheeks.

Abdule said she has not spoken with her son since he moved to the U.S. in 2006 because, she believes, his father won’t let him. She said she wants to leave the camp and reunite with her children and has asked the Ethiopian government and the U.N. refugee agency to help her do so.

“My son was silent but intelligent when he was with me. I know he concealed himself in a plane to see me,” said Abdule, whose name has also been spelled as Abdullahi in other news reports. Her name is spelled Abdule on U.N. documents. The two names are often interchangeable in Somali culture.

The father said he plans to fly to Hawaii soon to reunite with his son and is “excited to bring him back home to his family in California.” He said the family was “deeply concerned” when the boy went missing and was relieved to hear he was safe.

Abdule says she hasn’t been eating since learning of the news of her son’s misadventure. She said she has visions of her now ex-husband not properly caring for their children.

“I prefer they rather be here with me than live with a stepmother in the U.S,” said Ubah, who has two children living in the camp her, ages 8 and 5, fathered by a different man.

But mother and children might be reunited in the United States.

A legal protection officer at the refugee camp, Abdlrasak Abas Omar, said Abdule has passed her first interview with the UNHCR’s list of refugees that might emigrate to America. If she passes the next phase, he said, she could move to the U.S. in less than a year.