Saudi Children Left Behind
The children of Saudi Arabian fathers abroad seeking answers
'Saudi Children Left Behind' is a blog designed to help children born to a troubling trend. For some Saudi men, it is not uncommon to father children abroad, only to return to Saudi Arabia.
'My child-mind built it up. Daydreaming that maybe someday I'll walk outside and he would kneel-down and greet me. You know, kneel down and outstretch his arms to me.' Jared is talking about the father he never met. Like many young Saudi men, his father studied in America in the 70s, returning home when his partner became pregnant. It's a painful phenomenon, and not uncommon by any means; in Guatemala, Sami is also searching for his Saudi father. 'I think he left for Arabia after I was born. He told my mum he would come back, but he never returned', explains Sami. Jennifer Crystal, whose Saudi Arabian partner left America after she fell pregnant, started a website - 'Saudi Children Left Behind' - to help children connect with their estranged fathers. 'In the small town that I lived in, in Ohio, there were five girls that had a similar situation. And I remember thinking at that time, if it's such a problem in this very, very small community, how bad is it everywhere else? So, I created the blog. And lo and behold, there were so many people all over, not only in here in the United States [in the same situation]', explains Jennifer.FULL SYNOPSIS