After her ex-husband kidnapped her son and kept him in Egypt, a Pennsylvania mother got him back in a daring rescue.
Kalli Atteya has spent almost two years trying to get her son, Niko, back after the boy’s father, Mohamed Atteya, drove off with him while they were visiting Egypt. All Kalli could do was watch as Atteya sped off with Niko.
Mohamed had gotten Kalli and Niko to come to Egypt by telling them that his mother was dying and wanted to see them. Kalli said that her ex kidnapped their son in order "to make him a Muslim."
According to Kalli, her ex-husband did not have a very high opinion of the United States. "He said that we lack the morality and the values that their system has," she said. "And he said that Americans were so violent, he said we are a rotting society."
After authorities and private companies were unable to locate Niko, Kalli was able to find him with the help of a local investigator. She spent months following Niko and Mohamed while wearing a burqa, The Daily News, reported. "I came so close to my son, and I could not touch him," she said.
Finally, on March 14, she took action. As Niko, 12, was departing from a school bus she drove up to him on a motorized cart. "Get in" was all she said. Niko recognized his mother’s blue eyes, and away they went.
Now they are living at an undisclosed location in the U.S. and are still fearful that the boy’s father may try to get him back. Mohamed is wanted for kidnapping a U.S. citizen and forging documents.
Kalli's sister, Olga Panagos-Kriska, said this: "They are so happy. He knew that his mother would come for him.”