Dramatic Saudi Arabia Getaway Could Cost This American Mom Her Daughter


“Terrifying,” “enraging,” and “overwhelming” is how Bethany Alhaidari described the prospect of sending her eight-year-old back to Saudi Arabia after the mother-daughter duo fled the kingdom four years ago.

The 36-year-old American activist from Washington state made headlines back in 2019 when she escaped the kingdom with her daughter, Zaina, after going through a contentious divorce, losing a grueling custody battle, and being placed under a travel ban for violating the visitation rights of her ex-husband.

Left with few options under the kingdom’s custody laws, Alhaidari said she hatched a plan which she viewed as her only shot of getting out with Zaina: pretending to “get back together” with her allegedly abusive ex-husband until he felt comfortable enough to let her travel with their child. According to Alhaidari, the plan worked, and she was able to leave the kingdom with her daughter in December 2019, under the guise of visiting her parents in Washington state—where she immediately filed for emergency jurisdiction.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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