Father of teen stowaway coming to Oahu

Photo: Chris Sugidono, The Maui News
Photo: Chris Sugidono, The Maui News

It’s the miracle being heard across the world.

A 15-year-old California boy climbed into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines flight headed to Maui.

He endured the 5 1/2-hour flight despite low temperatures and little oxygen. He remains in the hospital under the protective custody of child welfare services.

On Sunday, the boy’s father, Abdulahi Yusuf, issued this statement: “I plan to fly to Hawaii soon to be reunited with him, and am excited to bring him back home to his family in California.”

We wanted to know when Yusuf would be traveling to Oahu. So we contacted the family’s spokesperson to find out.

“All I can say at this time is that it is expected to happen as soon as possible and that the main focus would be reunion with his son,” said Zahra Billoo, executive director at the The Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area.

In the statement, Yusuf says, “Our family was deeply concerned when my son went missing, and we were relieved to hear of his safety considering the circumstances of the trip.”

The family is originally from Somalia, but fled the country due to war conditions.

Yusuf says his son received no formal education before moving to the U.S. and has had a hard time adjusting to life in California, but is a good kid.

We wanted to know how the boy’s father is holding up.

“It’s difficult for any parent when a child runs away that’s further aggravated by the circumstances,” Billoo said. “Mr. Yusuf is hopeful and relieved at the same time, but of course, will be worried until he is reunited with his son.”

Yusuf says he’s thankful for the concern and support expressed, but asks that people continue to respect the family’s privacy.

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