Kidnapped German sisters speak Arabic to each other
- Update: Americans Kidnapped in Yemen
The freed children of German aid workers kidnapped in Yemen a year ago speak only Arabic to each other, have given each other new names, and have asked their relatives if they can cook over an open fire.
Experts believe their abductors may have named them as they moved them around to secret hideouts during their ordeal. They had their hair dyed with henna, play with clay pots.
Their total immersion in Arab culture makes family members caring for them since they arrived back in Germany last week fear they have been separated from their parents for some time, although they have not yet asked the children when they last saw their mother and father, fearing such a question could trigger post traumatic stress disorder.
The kidnapped family from Saxony: Johannes H. with his wife Sabine and kids Lydia, Anna and Simon. The two girls have now been freed.
The children were reunited with their uncle and other family members late on Wednesday after being flown back to Germany aboard a Bundeswehr aircraft.
The tiny village of Meschwitz in Saxony where, in the words of mayor Norbert Wolf “practically everyone knows everyone else,” has promised to collectively pull together to provide the sisters with the care they need after their ordeal.
Anna and Lydia were abducted along with their parents and brother Simon, two, in June 2009. A British engineer, Anthony Saunders, two German care workers and a South Korean teacher were also taken.
Both care workers and the teacher were found dead a few days later in the Saada province while the fate of the others remains unknown. Kidnapping in the area is said to be co-ordinated between Shiite rebels and terrorist network al-Qaeda.
The girls were freed on Monday in an operation conducted by Saudi Arabian special forces in a village near to the Saudi border with Yemen. There was no sign of their parents Johannes and Sabine. He worked as an engineer at a hospital where his wife was employed as a nurse.