After a 12 year battle, several trips to Egypt and exhaustive pleading at the highest levels of Egyptian and American government, Janet Greer has been reunited with her 15-year-old daughter Sarah who was taken by her father to Egypt when the girl was just three years old and never returned.
It all happened one day before President Obama arrives in Egypt, for his first to the Middle East trip since taking office.
ABC News' "Good Morning America" anchor Chris Cuomo in Cairo for the president's trip, says Greer, who was also in Egpyt to again try to see her daughter, had her dreams answered today.
"After we met with her this morning, we got calls from the U.S. embassy, that the [father's] family actually agreed to a meeting. All of Janet's high-level pleas to the government officials here paid off. An interior minister interceded. And there was a meeting. She got to meet her daughter." Cuomo said. "They hugged, it's going on as we speak," he added.
Before Greer found out she would get permission to see her little girl, Greer rode through the streets of Cairo with only one thing on her mind: telling the daughter she's fought more than a decade to see that she loved and missed her.
In 1997 Sarah "Dowsha" Elgohary was taken to Egypt by the girl's father and Greer's ex-boyfriend, Magdy Elgohary, without a word to Greer, during what was supposed to be a weekend visit. Greer can remember with devastating clarity the moment she realized her little girl was not coming back when she went to pick her up and no one showed.
"Right then I knew he had her," Greer said. "I fell on the ground because I knew my life was gone."
Elgohary, had, without a word, taken the girl to live in Egypt with his family. Since that day, Greer has been fighting doggedly to be reunited with her little girl who, aside from a grainy cell phone video, she had not seen since she was a toddler.
To get her daughter back, Greer spent all her money. She has taken multiple trips to Egypt, including a teasing visit to outside the apartment where she believed Dowsha lived. An Egyptian court even agreed that Greer should have custody of the child. But still, she never saw her daughter.
Greer chased down every lead as best she could, but American authorities told her there was little they could do. International law requires countries to send abducted children home, but like 3,000 other abducted American children currently living in other countries, Greer's daughter is at the mercy of foreign authorities.
After "Good Morning America" reported Greer's story last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about Greer's case in a press conference with the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit.
"I mean, as a mother, the idea that I wouldn't be able to see my daughter for 12 years is extremely painful to me just to think about," she said. "So we are very hopeful that this will be resolved."
Visitation in Egypt Curiously Denied
During this trip to Egypt, Greer was told an Egyptian judge would order visitation rights for her. Unfortunately, this promise, like so many for Greer, turned into another crushing and confusing blow.
"My visitation is now denied. I have no idea why," Greer explained. "I thought today was going to finally be the day that I could see my girl after 12 years and now they're saying no and I don't understand it. I don't understand any of this."
She said her only recourse was to plead with the Elgohary family directly and even reach out President Barack Obama who is also in Cairo.
"I am going to try and negotiate with the family still," she said tearfully. "Maybe, you know, tell them I will drop everything. Just let me see my daughter."
Her pleads, it appears, worked.
The family granted Greer a visit and after 12 years, she was able to tearfully embrace her little "Dowsha."