herald

Tuesday 17 January 2017

I fear my son will never see his CAO offers

THE desperate father of four Irish citizens held in Egypt fears his son may never live his dream of going to university.

In a heartrending interview, Hussein Halawa last night said he is "saddened" that his son Ibrahim still had not seen his CAO offers.

The 17-year-old was due to learn this week whether he had secured his dream of studying engineering in UCD or Trinity College.

Instead, he has spent the last six days in an Egyptian prison and is facing the prospect of attempted murder charges along with his three sisters.

Their ordeal has had a devastating effect on their parents.

Hussein, who is Imam of Ireland's largest mosque, told the Herald that his son's college place could be in jeopardy.

"We haven't heard from him or spoken to him. We just don't know his condition or the condition of my three daughters. We are hearing nothing."

 

Fears

Asked about whether he fears his son's hopes of studying engineering could be dashed, Hussein said: "Of course I do. He is just 17, a young [man].

"But he does not know if he has the college he wants to go to. Will he ever? I don't know.

"He is in a dangerous place. It's very bad. We need more information about the location of my children."

Sisters Omaima (20), Fatima (22) and Somaia (27) Halawa have been locked up in prison with Ibrahim since Saturday.

They had travelled from their home in Dublin to Egypt for the summer holidays and were arrested when security forces stormed a mosque following a 'Day of Rage' organised by supporters of the deposed President Morsi.

The Herald reported yesterday that the four are facing 15 separate charges – a development described as "ludicrous" by their family.

The charges relate to alleged crimes such as attempted murder and arson, which the Halawa family completely deny.

noconnor@herald.ie

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