ALYN Enables Muhi’s Reunion with His Father in the UAE
Mohammed, known as Muhi to his friends and family, has spent most of his life at ALYN Hospital. He is 22-years old, on chronic ventilation and uses a powered wheelchair. He is able to use his hands and fingers, and is able to speak, but his speech is very difficult for most people who do not know him to understand.
For many years, Muhi had not been in close touch with his father, who lives in Abu Dhabi. They were able to reconnect several years ago, when Muhi’s father sent him a smartphone, allowing Muhi to spend time with his father and younger brothers on video calls. At that time, there was no travel possible between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
In August of 2020, Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement, marking the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since 1994 (Jordan). The peace agreement enabled the opening of travel between Israel and the UAE. Once the pandemic travel limitations were eased in March 2022, Muhi’s father invited him to come visit him in Abu Dhabi.
The ALYN Hospital Deputy Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Naomi Gefen, and ALYN social worker, Sharon Cherqui Agour, persevered in meeting the many (and often changing) demands of the airline, the health insurance company, and the passport authorities to make the travel arrangements for Muhi and his Arabic-speaking caregiver, Hatev, including making contact with hospitals where Muhi would be travelling to ensure that he would have emergency care if needed.
Muhi expressed that he was very, very happy to have spent the time with his family and is grateful to ALYN Hospital for help making the reunion possible. And if anyone is going to travel to the UAE – he’d be happy to give tips on where to visit!