Boston Dad Fights to Get Kids Back from Egypt

Filed under: Divorce & Custody, In The News, Single Parenting

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Colin Bower posts video messages to his sons on Facebook. He hopes they can see him, because he can't see them.

His ex-wife, Mirvat el Nady, violated their custody agreement, allegedly forged passport documents and ran off with their boys to her native Egypt. Bower hasn't seen Ramsay, 7, or Noor, 9, since Nady, who is listed as a fugitive by Interpol, picked them up for a scheduled on visit Aug. 9 of last year.

MSNBC reports Bower has traveled to Egypt six times. However, despite help from U.S. Sen. John Kerry and the State Department, the Boston resident doesn't know when -- or if -- he will see his sons again.

Bower started a Facebook campaign to get the boys back and tells "Today" he hopes his sons know about it.

"It is, frankly, therapeutic for me to communicate with them in some fashion after a year, because I haven't been able to see them at all," Bower tells "Today."

Bower was supposed to have sole custody of Ramsay and Noor after he and Nady divorced in 2008. The boys went for a visit with their mother on Aug. 9, 2009, and she was supposed to return them home a week later. Instead, using the last name "Power," she fled with the boys to Egypt two days later.

MSNBC reports an Egyptian court granted Bower visits with his sons twice a month, but Nady is nowhere to be found. There are international warrants for her arrest on kidnapping charges.

Although he's supposed to fly to Cairo for a third scheduled visit next week, Bower tells the show he's been told Nady won't show up for that visit, either.

David Goldman of New Jersey faced a similar problem when his ex-wife absconded with their son to Brazil. Father and son were reunited after a five-year legal and diplomatic battle. Bower tells MSNBC he hopes for a similarly happy ending on a shorter time line.

Just as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited the White House this week, Bower was told a U.S. embassy official managed to visit Ramsay and Noor to check on their well-being. Bower tells MSNBC he was told the boys are in good shape and they reportedly talked excitedly about their friends and activities in Egypt.

But Bower tells "Today" he believes his sons "were well on-message and well-coached for that visit."

Even though Bower has an Egyptian court order for visitation on his side, he tells MSNBC there's little chance of him seeing his boys. "There's no one to enforce compliance on the Egyptian side," he says.

"I want them to be on an airplane tomorrow," he tells MSNBC. "She has the ability to do that. The Egyptian government has the ability to return these children tomorrow. And that's what I want. That's what they deserve."

Related: Facebook Reunites Mom With Kidnapped Kids

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.