Watch: After 15 Years: Yemeni Jewish Family Reunites In The United Arab Emirates


The United Arab Emirates recently allowed Yemeni Jews who wanted to leave Yemen to move to Abu Dhabi and receive UAE citizenship.

The UAE also facilitated a long-awaited family reunion with the couple’s children and grandchildren who had moved from Yemen to London 15 years earlier and hadn’t seen their parents since their departure as traveling to Yemen was not possible.

In a rare step, the family members from London also received citizenship from the UAE.

The father of the family spoke about meeting his children for the first time in 15 years: “I feel as if I was born again today. I’m so happy that I met all my children and grandchildren.”

“We fulfilled a dream that seemed impossible,” one of the children said to Emirates News Agency (WAM). “We thank the UAE on its tremendous support in arranging this family reunion.”

There are small Jewish communities in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi and recently the largest shipment of kosher meat in history was delivered to the UAE. The report did not clarify if the family members from London were just visiting or planning on joining their parents on a permanent basis in the UAE.

In a previous YWN report, Rav Faiz Gradi, a leader of the Yemenite Jewish community who immigrated to the US a decade ago, was quoted as saying that some Yemenite Jews seeking to leave Yemen were looking for a moderate Arab country that would be willing to take them in.

“All these years, the ‘Shearis Hapleita’ (the few remaining Jews) refused to make aliyah to Israel due to their fear of educational and tznius issues,” Rav Gradi said. “They heard from their brothers who made aliyah before them and understand that Israel is not for them. The US is also not appropriate for their lifestyle.”

“They searched for an Arab country that would agree to accept them and there are a number of countries that may be willing to host them with assistance from the US. Perhaps we’ll be zocheh to soon see a new Yemenite community in a country with a similar Arab nature but without threats to its security and Yahadus,” Rav Gradi cryptically concluded.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)