Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

Watch: the touching moment a father meets newborn son, after repatriation flight reunites family

Abdulmajid Koutrach’s pregnant wife was visiting family in Toronto when her return was delayed due to the global crisis

A new video released by Etihad tugs at the heartstrings by featuring a UAE family reuniting for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic halted flight routes around the world.

The one-and-a-half minute video shows the touching moment Abdulmajid Koutrach, a 34-year-old who operates a gift and merchandising business in the UAE, reunited with his family after more than four months apart – and seeing his newborn son Ahmad for the first time.

The family are originally from Syria but have lived in the UAE for 10 years.

His wife, Farah Oubed, a civil engineer, was visiting her sister in Toronto, along with their four-year-old son Adam, when complications related to her pregnancy delayed her return.

In the days following, the pandemic ground flights to a halt around the world, and meant the pair were stranded in Canada. It meant Koutrach was also forced to miss the the birth of his son, who is now two months old.

Oubed and Adam waited patiently, having completed the Twajudi process, and were granted approval to return to the country.

On Tuesday, May 12, they travelled on Etihad Airways flight EY140 from Toronto to Abu Dhabi and were welcomed at Abu Dhabi International Airport by an emotional Koutrach who met his newborn son Ahmad for the very first time.

‘It’s like a dream come true to be honest,” says Koutrach.

“I was just thinking I will not see them until September and it is just a dream that they are here. It really doesn’t feel real. Everything has been amazing and I really want to say thank you to the government and Etihad Airways for everything that they have done. We are just having cuddles all the time – my son Adam is staying very close to me and we are so happy to be together again."

Etihad started operating a limited number of one-way flights to the capital from major cities around the world, including Toronto, on May 9.

Updated: May 18, 2020 10:07 AM

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