Singapore – You may have heard of Taufik Batisah who won the first season of Singapore Idol. He is once again making rounds on social media for his appeal for donations and assistance to bring his two-year-old niece and cousin currently trapped in Lebanon and unable to return home.
Taufik went to Facebook on June 3 and uploaded a video explaining his family’s situation.
“It is with a heavy heart that I’m sharing this with you. And I do hope that you can spare me a few moments of your time,” he stated.
Taufik then introduced his adorable niece, Hana, who was born in Singapore and holds a Singapore passport. Hana’s mother, a Singaporean and her father a native Lebanese, are currently domiciled somewhere in Australia.
The story of baby Hana started in September 2017 when she went to Lebanon for the first time to meet her grandparents along with her brother Imam and mother Nur, who is Taufik’s cousin. The visit was made at the request of baby Hana’s father.
“Upon reaching Lebanon, baby Hana who is still nursing, was forcefully taken away from her mother, by her father’s family. Fearing for her own and her son’s safety, Nur had no choice but to leave Lebanon with Imam without his sister, baby Hana,” shared Taufik.
“After almost a year away from her daughter, Nur finally managed to be reunited with baby Hana through a court ruling.”
However, when Nur arrived in Lebanon, her joy was short-lived. She could not return home with baby Hana.
“For almost two years now, baby Hana has been separated from her brother Imam and family because she has not been allowed to return back home to Singapore,” said Taufik.
Multiple travel bans were placed on baby Hana by her father’s family who convinced Lebanese authorities to impose the bans.
Taufik explained that his family had tried various ways to bring back baby Hana and Nur, but every time a charge was dropped, “fresh accusations were fabricated to prevent them from leaving the country.”
“Now, the latest charge they have on my cousin Nur was for the kidnapping of her own daughter,” said Taufik. Nur was also given a new travel ban and is also stuck in Lebanon.
Taufik shared that their family’s finances have been exhausted because of the “prolonged battle,” and they are now seeking help from anyone willing.
They have allegedly spent over US$ 35,000 (S$47,900) and are appealing for funds to cover legal costs, travel expenses, accommodation, medical and other daily expenses.
They have started a funding page in hopes to create awareness and to raise funds to bring baby Hana and Nur back home. It was created by a certain Mohamed Ismail with the caption, “Seeking funds to bring back my granddaughter and daughter back from Lebanon.”
Their family is also asking for any form of assistance from anywhere in the world, from those who may have any information that could be beneficial for their cause.
Taufik mentioned in the video that the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Honorary Consulate-General (HCG) have been updated of all events to date.
Ismail hopes that both Nur and baby Hana could come back home to Singapore in time for Eid (Hari Raya on June 5).
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