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The scene in Riyadh

When Sami Al-Hussayen arrived in Saudi Arabia, “There was a big crowd at the airport - friends, family, kids running everywhere, flowers, TV cameras, people yelling in joy - apparently total bedlam,” said David Nevin, Al-Hussayen’s Boise attorney, who received a happy call from his client late last night.

Abdullah Al-Muhaitheef, a friend of Sami’s and fellow University of Idaho alum, reported from Riyadh via email: “Today is a day that we should write it by water of gold.”

Sami was recognized by well-wishers in the Cairo airport en route to Riyadh, and one agreed to call Sami’s father’s cell phone, to let him know when his son would arrive. The former University of Idaho student wasn’t allowed to make phone calls himself while he remained in the custody of two immigration officials who accompanied him from Boise to Chicago to Rome to Cairo to Riyadh.

Al-Muhaitheef reported, “Thanks God for having our hero back, he arrived on time, his children, family and friends were in the airport waiting for him.”

These photos from the Riyadh airport show Sami reunited with his three young sons; kissing his father’s head in greeting; and taking congratulatory phone calls.



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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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