Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Angelina Jolie and Melissa Hawach

Melissa Hawach recovers Cedar & Hannah from Lebanon

Melissa Hawach recently recovered her two daughters from the Lebanon after a three continent battle to get them home to Canada from her estranged husband, Joseph Hawach.

Melissa and her daughters

This case started last year when Joseph Hawach took the two girls for a vacation to Australia but they ended up in the Lebanon with Mr Hawach and his mother.

After locating Cedar and Hannah in the Lebanon, Melisa Hawach reunited with the children at a school playground and eventually returned to Canada after a two month cat and mouse chase to evade Joseph and his supporters through Jordan and Syria..

Two "helpers", Brian Corrigan and David Pemberton, private security specialists currently languish in a Lebanese jail for "assisting" in this matter though the charges against them have recently been downgraded and the Lebanese court apparently now accepts Melissa has custody over the children.

Lebanon is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction which makes it at the same time more difficult to pursue a resolution through the legal process but easier if you go the so called "self-help" route. Joseph, a dual Lebanese/Australian citizen has outstanding charges pending in Canada for international child kidnapping and custodial interference.

Joseph Hawach and his mother Gladys

In the style of Betty Mahmoudi, who managed to recover her daughters from Iran and the tale was turned into a film "Not without my Daughters" starring Sally Fields, movie offers are flooding in for the movie rights.

Hollywood heavyweight, Angelina Jolie has or is in the process of bidding for the film rights after the story broke in an Australian newspaper.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this and it is noteworthy that this case has so speedily been resolved without the Hague Convention - I think I can safely speculate that if the Hague Convention had been in situ, then this matter would still be dragging on to the detriment of Cedar and Hannah.


Holly Trabulsy said...

I have been following this story closely since it broke in the mainstream in December 2006. My initial reaction was "I wish I had the money and the GUTS to do what Melissa Hawach did..." when my ex-husband took my two young sons to Beirut for a summer holiday a year and a half ago. It was all based on the same premise, not too much differs in our stories except that I lived in Lebanon for ten years or so, and Melissa did not. And obviously, the biggest difference is that I did not attempt to re-abduct my boys, instead opting for the "right" (italicized and in quotation marks) way and go through the legal channels, figuring that if I broke the law - international law, I could care less about Lebanese law - that it would only do more damage to my children, in which case we would all lose. In retrospect, sometimes, I wish I had acted independently like Melissa did... and more importantly, right away. But I listened to State Department officials and federal agents who told me that it would be unwise to attempt such a feat (I guess they were only telling me what they could as they are bound by the laws of the land, etc.) and that furthermore, no one would be able to help me in the event that things went wrong.
Well, it's been a year and a half, and I've had no contact with my children since. My ex-husband refuses to cooperate, and I'm told that as long as he remains in Lebanon, he cannot be charged with any crime, as he is breaking no laws in Lebanon, of which he is a citizen.
The officials with whom I've been in contact are, at best, mostly ambivalent... silence from the State Department has all but confirmed that there is nothing I or anyone else can do, and therefore, I would do best to let it go.
I, in fact, have a story or two about my dealings with the State Department that would make your blood pressure skyrocket, to say the least.
Mr. Hindle, my heart goes out to you, for the fate of your daughter has been more horrific than for many of us "left-behind" parents. I at least know where my children are, who is around them, and know that their father - for all his faults - does love them and will care for them. This of course does not make what he did any more the right, and from reports that I have gotten through third parties, he has all but brainwashed (and I HATE that word) them against me, alleging all sorts of ugly things. But that's a different story... But yes, his behavior does, indeed, constitute child abuse - in more ways than one - and it breaks my heart to think of what my boys are going through internally, and how, one day, all the lies and manipulations - and the ultimate truth, once they know - might haunt them forever. The lost years, the memories that were never made - and the false ones that were...
And meanwhile, all I can do is wait by the phone, hoping for a call from my boys, or from an authority somewhere bearing some kind of news... but those phone calls never come.

Holly Trabulsy - just another sad statistic in this lousy system.

Robin said...

What a cheap tart Melissa Hawach is.
She never even said thanks to the two guys that did three months in a max. security prison in Lebanon.