Adam Jones was tricked out of the custody of his British mother 4 years ago after her ex husband, a Qatari national, died in a motorcycle accident. Her husband's family invited her to bring Adam over under the pretense of a family get together, something she had willingly done before, so suspected nothing was different this time. They asked her to sign a document pertaining to his inheritance from his father's estate but in fact it was her signing over her custody of her son to the family. She has been fighting four long years in the Qatar courts to get Adam back with only two visits per week with him. So far not much has been done for her and I find this whole drama heart breaking and quite personal as it is something foreign mother's to Arab nationals must live under the threat of constantly. Our children and rights and access to them is what binds us to these marriages or to the countries long after we might other wise be gone. This is the letter I wrote today in regards to Adam and his mother's plight.
In response to the plight of Adam Jones whose mother was tricked into giving up custody of him to his Qatari family, it boggles my mind that the word "allegedly" was used when describing what her ex husband's family did in order to gain custody of her son. Despite the fact that nobody should ever sign a document that they do not understand, especially when it is in a foreign language (a practice that is forced on many non Arabic readers here in the gulf), I must wonder at the Sharia Court in Qatar that still considers that document as valid and legal. Once she stated in court that she was under duress to sign it and that she was misinformed as to its contents then the court was obliged to throw it out or at the very least to investigate the reasons behind the accusations and whether they were true or not. To uphold that document for four long years and keep Adam from his mother, who clearly did not want to release custody of him, is a telling indication of just how Sharia Courts in the Middle East view foreign mother's rights as being nonexistent and not worth the trouble to implement them. Personal experience and hearing the stories of so many other foreign mother's of Bahraini, Saudi, Qatari and other G.C.C. country's children is proof positive that Adam's mother will most likely not find the justice she is so desperately looking for. If it were going to come one would have to assume that the concerned authorities (if they really are concerned) would not let 4 years pass by without finding a resolution. Four years that neither Adam nor his mother will ever get back. I am wondering if anyone in Qatar has bothered to ask young Adam whether he prefers his father's money and family who have connived and tricked his mother into separating him from her or to relinquish his right to that money (since that is most likely what they are really after) in order to sleep once again in his own bed with his own family around him? Chances are they will never ask him nor care for his response if they do and yet they must also be blind to the fact that he will not be a minor forever and eventually when he comes of age he will be free to go where and with whom he pleases. Time will tell whether his father's Qatari family really do have his best interest at heart or whether they will let him leave when he is of age and not bother to keep in touch after that. It is my experience and those of other women that once the native father (or his family) loses (either custody, children come of age, want nothing to do with him etc.) then neither he nor his family are interested in what becomes of those children they once so ardently fought for. As much as I hope that Adam's mother does get her hearts desire and Adam is returned to her sooner rather than later, I am convinced that only time and Adam's age will be the telling clue as to that family's true intentions with him and I truly hope that all the lies and disinformation that Adam is most assuredly being fed do not take their toll on his young mind and convince him that his mother willingly surrendered him to those people for the young are so easily mislead from the truth with false smiles, fake hugs, and confidently spoken words with god interspersed throughout.
Stay strong, young Adam. From one mother who nearly lost her children to the unjust actions of the Sharia Court here in Bahrain to another suffering the same fate in Qatar, I can honestly tell you that your mother is fighting for your life with every muscle and breath in her body. That is what mothers do.
Lee Ann Fleetwood