Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Friday, 22 January 2010

Daughter missing in Egypt reunited with mother

Leila Sabra with her two-year-old daughter A'ishah
Leila Sabra spent eight months searching for her daughter

A mother from Greater Manchester has been reunited with her two-year-old daughter eight months after she went missing in Egypt.

Leila Sabra, 32, from Whitefield, received a phone call from the British Embassy on Thursday to say A'ishah had been found.

The young girl was taken by her father, Saber Mesbah Sabra, last year in the east coast city of Hurghada.

Ms Sabra said it was a "dream come true" to have her daughter returned.

She had met her former husband when she went to the country on holiday five years ago.

'Constant nightmare'

They married months later and the family lived in Egypt, where Mr Sabra ran a quad biking company.

But the relationship broke down and she returned to England, agreeing that their daughter would visit once a year.

Finally, after so long, I had my baby back in my arms
Leila Sabra, mother

On 16 May 2009, during a supervised visit, the little girl was bundled into the back of a car and driven away.

Ms Sabra has spent the last eight months scouring the country for her daughter.

She said she "didn't dare believe it" when she heard Egyptian Police had detained Mr Sabra and ordered him to hand over the child.

Ms Sabra said: "It's a dream come true. From a constant nightmare that I thought would never end, I woke up yesterday to a phone call saying that the state police have found my baby.

"Finally, after so long, I had my baby back in my arms.

"It was surreal, I had waited minute by minute, hour after hour, and month after month whilst I mourned the loss of my baby - yet here she was, cradled against my chest."



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