RIYADH: More than a decade since he started his quest to connect with his father, Elayan Kris Allafi or “Olayan Al-Afi” is still facing a blank wall.
The Filipino father of two says he did not know that he was carrying a Saudi name until his teenage years, when his mother told him about it. He said his mother gave him the name to cherish the memory of her Saudi husband who "abandoned" her 31 years ago.
According to Allafi, his mother met his Saudi father in Manila in 1983 through a Filipino friend, who was a business partner of his father. He said his father left in 1984 and never made contact with his mother again.
“My father left my mother when she was pregnant with me and never came back. I’ve never seen him and am really very keen to meet him,” he said in his letter to Arab News.
“The only evidence I have is my father’s “love letter” to my mother with his full name from Riyadh. I am willing to go for DNA testing if required,” he said.
Allafi said he was raised by Christians and has since embraced Islam in 2005 in Malaysia.
"I named my two children after my Saudi father — Elayan Rasheed Allafi and Zainah Hadiyyah Allafi — to keep his name alive in our memory. Please help me see my father. I am willing to go through every process,” he said.
Allafi said he had resorted to seeking help from media because his previous attempts to locate his father have all been in vain. He said he had reported his case to the Saudi Embassy in Manila, to no avail. “They just kept telling me to wait for their call,” he said.
He also visited the Saudi Embassy in Malaysia but his effort has yet to bear fruit.
In the absence of any response from his father, he has now switched to social media. Through Facebook, he was able to get in touch with his father’s brother, but the latter had become unresponsive.
As a last resort, he sought help from Arab News, hoping that his dad would one day see "sonrise" and realize what he had been missing for decades.
He said he was willing to provided photos, old letters and addresses through Arab News to those who could help him.
"I am confident to see my father some day, so that I can visit the Two Holy Mosques with my wife to perform Umrah,” he said from Malaysia.