Family in Crisis – Chapter 5

Final Resolution

Senior members of the Gamal family were taken by surprise when a truckload of Egyptian secret service operatives suddenly appeared at their home and herded them into a room for questioning by two senior members of intelligence. The rest fanned out around home and outbuildings minutely examining paperwork they found and confiscating phones, computers and other electronic devices while the family protested. The same scene happened in houses of the extended family. Other operatives from the secret service appeared at the locations of their businesses and put them into lockdown recording the names of employees and herding them into busses for interrogation at headquarters.

Not all members of the extended family, particularly the women had any knowledge of the secret parts of the Gamal empire. Innocent family members only had knowledge of seemingly innocent businesses and had no idea they were vehicles through which money was laundered. Zaid’s father was confident his contacts in government would get him out of this mess as he’d been very liberal with them over the years. He was alarmed when none of his former government contacts returned his calls through the lawyer he was permitted to contact. Information from the CIA soon revealed the lawyer himself was a person of interest and he was placed under arrest. After several sessions of interrogations, Gamal along with the rest of persons of interest were placed under house arrest pending the outcome of investigations.

As phones were monitored, he couldn’t contact any of his partners in crime as it was possible not all of them had been arrested and he didn’t want to compromise them. The business must by some means be carried on as they had commitments with various shadowy political entities and if their merchandise was not delivered or money returned it would place members of the family in grave danger.

He’d received no communications from his partner in the US and hoped he’d be able to flee the US before the investigation netted him too. He was one the kingpins the organization couldn’t afford to lose. Little did they know he was in custody in the US and the reason they were being investigated now. The dark web secrets had largely been disclosed by clever operatives in the CIA and the net cast widely around the world. Little did they know arrests were being made in the US at high levels of the weapons industry the government had up to this time been confident were secure. New security procedures were put in place. The Gamal organization had been largely shut down and it was now up to authorities in many countries to shut local criminal enterprises down or distance themselves from former friends internationally and seek new avenues of espionage.

But these investigations conducted thoroughly revealed Zaid was not a person of interest and Jordon Security communicated this to the University President. Zaid was sad his family were under such dire circumstances now. With assets frozen they were virtually bankrupt. Zaid requested the president to inquire through his contacts in government whether it would compromise him if he looked into the situation of his mother and sisters. There was no objection, and he was able to seek information on them through his childhood friend who’d kept in contact with him all these years.

He was able to send some money through his friend to tide them over until the government decided what to do with seized properties. Eventually they were lost to the family apart from one of the restaurants which the government finding the women innocent allowed to be returned to them to operate as a means of income. All other assets were sold. Even the palatial home was seized so they had to live in cramped quarters behind that restaurant. With this stain over the heads of the Gamal family there’d probably not be any chance of a marriage proposal for the daughters now and Zaid wept as he thought of their plight. Perhaps after some time he could rescue them and bring them to Jordon where they could perhaps have a life without the stigma attached to the name.

In the meantime, Zaid threw himself into teaching. Over time funds were raised and the IT Department benefited from ideas brought back with him from his trip to the US a year previous and more students flocked into the country as its content was recognized as exceptional value. His mentor indicated within five years he’d be retiring and provided Zaid continued producing excellent work he was increasingly noted for he’d recommend him as his successor. Zaid threw all his energies into his work with that promise in mind.

His efforts had been progressively rewarding financially and he sought a more spacious place to relocate with more bedrooms and living space as he’d received permission to sponsor one of his sisters for an enhanced education as their present housing conditions were horrendous. He’d like to rescue them all but that was financially beyond him, and his mother did have a reasonable income from the restaurant she now managed. Zaid knew his mother would be going through considerable grief as her husband was now in jail along with other prominent members of the family and her luxuries were a thing of the past and servants gone. At least he was in contact with family again but had no desire to visit the country of this birth as stigma of the Gamal name would stick to him there too.

He was settling in to work on student tests at his new home one evening when his cell phone chimed.  He picked it up and gave the usual greeting. There was a pause and Zaid thought someone had punched in a wrong number. He was about to shut down when a voice spoke tentatively.

“This is Galisha can we talk?”

Zaid trembled as he realized who was on the line. His feelings for her were still strong. He tried to put on a professional voice, but his emotion came through despite him trying.

“It’s been a long time, Galisha. How are you enjoying life in the US and your work there?”

“I’m in Aman visiting relatives Zaid and was wondering if we could get together and talk. We haven’t received threatening communications since you visited the US long ago and soon after you left the FBI informed us the problem had been solved for which we were very thankful. My parents had been very fearful when those threats were coming their way.”

“Yes, I’m quite embarrassed about that Galisha and apologize you went through that unfortunate time on my account. I’d like to see you again.”

“I’m sure you’re married now so hope your wife would not object to us meeting.”

Zaid laughed; Galisha was so transparent. “No, I’m not married Galisha and it will be a pleasure to catch up with you and explain what was behind that unfortunate experience you suffered on my account.”

“What are you doing now Zaid?”

“Looking over student tests Galisha, why?”

“Because I want to see you now.”

A feeling of excitement welled up in Zaid’s chest.

“That would be wonderful Galisha where shall we meet?”

“I was thinking of that favorite restaurant we used to frequent when we were students.”

“OK, I could be there in a half hour, where are you now?”

“I’m already at that restaurant and those memories were so emotional I felt the need to speak with you again but didn’t know your number as you must have changed your phone and email address and you never responded to my messages. So, I looked up the number of your mentor and phoned to find out your current number.”

“OK I’ll see you soon then.”

As Zaid entered the restaurant and saw Galisha his latent feelings for her rushed to the surface and he stood drinking her in. She was so beautiful, and he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. But she was established in the US now and he had no urge to live there. His future was in Jordon and even his strong feelings for this woman could not change that. He watched mesmerized as she stood slowly smiling and indicated a seat opposite her. Then seeing him hesitate she moved rapidly to join him at the door and led him back to the table. Perhaps it was an act in poor taste culturally, but she didn’t care about that. It was now, or never. She indicated he should sit.

“I’m visiting relatives but really wanted to see you Zaid. I’m disappointed you never responded to my messages as I wanted to apologize for the way I spoke to you when our family was under threat. My parents are precious to me, and they were fearful, but I had no right to speak to you the way I did. So, I’ve come personally to apologize. Please forgive me for what I said.”

“I fully understand Galisha. I’m embarrassed at having caused your family so much distress.”

 Then it came pouring out. The situation in his family and the embarrassment at being investigated because of their criminal activities. His sympathy for the women in his family and their present situation. How he’d missed her as a confident as he’d faced all these situations alone. He’d determined he’d make a future for himself in Jordon. She reached over and took his hand.

“I’m sorry Zaid, I should have been there for you. But if you’ll have me, I’ll be there for you in future.”

“Your family and future are in the US Galisha, my future is here so how would that be possible.”

“Well, if you wanted me to, I’d be happy to make my future in Jordon too Zaid.”

Zaid was in shock at her statement but quickly recovered.

“If you really mean that Galisha I’d like you to be my wife.”

“The answer of course is yes, that’s why I phoned you this evening. There is a void in my heart without you, life in the US cannot fill Zaid. Usually, our custom would be for family to contact family over these matters but obviously that’s not possible in this case so I’ve talked with my father and as they are with me visiting relatives he has indicated if you approach him, he’d be happy to forego the usual customs and a ceremony could be arranged. But you are a Moslem and I’m a Christian so that is a major hurdle we must deal with.”

“Galisha I believe in freedom to choose one’s own belief. My suggestion is we could register a marriage through the appropriate civil authorities and have a celebration with our friends afterward. Would you be happy with that?”

Galisha nodded. “I know you have a very busy program at the university Zaid, would you consider meeting my father this evening. He wouldn’t mind.”

The waiter approached their table to take their order, but both rose and headed for the door to his surprise. A half hour later Zaid was invited to meet with Galisha’s father alone and the men talked. At the conclusion of that talk an announcement was made to the assembled Haddad extended family members and congratulations issued. The women rejoiced and began planning the wedding arrangements and following celebration. The Haddad’s would return to the US afterward and Galesha would dispose of her apartment and ship personal items to Jordon so they could commence life together. The women of the Haddad family inspected Zaid’s new home and began planning on how to make it over in their image, but Galesha laughingly told them that would be the decision of Zaid and her, but they’d always be welcome to visit.

Next day Zaid shared this happy news with his mentor and asked him to preside at the wedding and this was graciously accepted.

The day of the wedding arrived, and the happy couple retired to their home looking forward to life together. Zaid felt his heart ache as he saw his wife return to the US with parents to settle her obligations there and discontinue employment she loved there. Eventually she’d find employment in this country of her birth, and he looked forward to them never being separated again as he waved her through immigration.


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© Copyright 2022 Ian Grice, “ianscyberspace.” All rights reserved

9 thoughts on “Family in Crisis – Chapter 5

  1. I haven’t been able to visit the blogverse as much as I would like now days, given my book promos, sorry for the delay. What an ending, Ian! Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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