Woman finds father on Facebook after 40 years

The social media has made it possible for a woman, Fahriya, to find her father after 40 years through Facebook. Fahriya and her father used to live in separate countries but they separated when she was a child.

Fahriya was born in 1976 in St Petersburg of a Russian mother and a Somali father. Siid Ahmed Sharif was one of a group of Somali officials offered a scholarship in the then Soviet Union at a time when the USSR was seeking to increase its influence in Africa.

Sharif and Fahriya’s mother were planning to be married but when Somalia and Ethiopia entered into a war, the Soviet Union chose to assist Ethiopia which meant that Sharif had to leave the country within 24 hours. As Fahriya and her mother were at the time in Siberia they could not reach the father before he left the country for Somalia.

During the years Fahriya tried to find her father through various organisations and with letters but as Russia and Somalia had no diplomatic relations, contact was difficult.

Once she sent a message to a Somali person who seemed to have important connections in the country and asked him to assist her in finding her father. The man posted Fahriya request on his Facebook profile together with the photographs she sent him.

Eventually Fahriya’s sister, who lived in Norway, recognised her and informed her father who at the time was visiting Norway from Sweden. The woman and her mother went to Norway to meet their family and remained in constant contacts with them.