LEX 18

American Woman Stuck in Beirut

A Kentucky native living in the Middle East is finally back home in the Bluegrass, but not without a price, she had to leave her little girl behind.

Amina Itini arrived back in Kentucky Saturday night, after a long journey. She had been held against her will in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, she begins another fight, to get her daughter back to America.

“It was the worst moment of my entire life,” remembers Amina. She fights back tears as she talks about the day her 5-year-old daughter was ripped away from her. After 7 years in Lebanon, Amina says home life wasn’t good and she wanted a better future for her child. “I left the house with my daughter to escape.”

But they were found, Amina says she walked outside her hideout to 30-armed men surrounding her.

“They took her from me and put her in the police car. I was screaming for her and she was screaming for me,” remembers Amina.

January 18th was the last time Amina saw her little girl. She spent the next few days living in fear. She says her husband fabricated emails, that Amina wanted to kill him. After days of interrogations, her husband agreed to drop the charges and lift the travel ban, she was finally allowed to come home. “Believe me, when you don’t have freedom, freedom is worth everything.”

But the one thing she wanted the most, she couldn’t have. “As badly as I wanted to leave, I wanted to stay just as bad. You can’t describe the feeling of being torn in two,” says Amina.

Now, Amina says she’s simply waiting for her husband to allow her to see her daughter again, and she’ll be back on a plane to Beirut.

Despite everything, though, Amina says she still loves Lebanon. “I am very grateful to all the Lebanese Police and authorities who treated me so well,” she says.



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