Culture And Media

Egypt: 'Italian child' appears in Cairo after 22 years

Rome, 8 Dec. (AKI) - An Italian child allegedly kidnapped by his father when he was five years-old has resurfaced in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, after 22 years living under a different name. Alex Anfuso reappeared via the internet social networking site Facebook looking for his Italian relatives.

"My name is Alex. I am looking for my family. I am looking for my mother," wrote Alex Anfuso on Facebook, in a bid to find his relatives.

On 17 March 1987, the father of the then five year-old child Alex Anfuso reportedly asked a friend to kidnap his child from Guidonia, a town on the outskirts of Rome, and to bring him to Egypt, where the father lived.

At the time of the kidnapping, his mother, Silvana Anfuso was in Rome's Rebibbia prison jailed in relation to drug-related crimes.

Before going to jail, the child was left in the house of one of Silvana's friends, who also ended up in jail a short time later.

At that time, Anfuso was transferred to the brother of Silvana Anfuso's friend, who then took legal action in a bid to adopt the child. He disappeared a few days later when he was playing in the street outside.

"One day, a man comes and tells me: I am your father, someone will come and pick you up. Follow them," Alex - now called Ali Mohammed - told an Italian TV show on Monday.

Alex was picked up and driven away. He was given a new hairstyle and new clothes and taken to Cairo.

He then met a woman whom he calls 'Grandma' who took care of him and he began speaking Arabic. He later fell out with his father.

Alex - who does not have an Egyptian birth certificate or residency in Egypt - is now 28 years old.

Alex decided to search for his Italian relatives by searching on Facebook for anyone with the last name 'Anfuso'.

He sent a message to many people, including Pino Anfuso, a TV technician who works for state broadcaster RAI in the southern city of Reggio Calabria.

Although Pino Anfuso is not a relative of Alex, he decided to share the story with the popular TV show "Chi l'ha visto" or "Who has seen them?" and Alex went on air to tell his story.

According to inquiries conducted by the show, Alex's mother Silvana died before she could see him again.




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