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Ahad, September 13, 2009

Mariam Johari -2007

June 28, 2007
nenek mariam
Posted by miloskilos under reality bites
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Mariam Sahari, with her Korean son (right) Ji Yong Un, 51, his wife, Shin Sook Hyun and their son, Ji, 29. — Picture courtesy of Korean Broadcasting System.KOTA TINGGI: Jailani Sunni was six years old when his mother was abducted by the Japanese army in 1943.
He never saw her again, leading him to believe that after all these years she was dead.
Now 70, Jailani has learnt that his mother, Mariam, is alive and desperate to see her children, and he just cannot wait for the day when he can hug and kiss her.
Mariam Sahari, whose birth name is Mariam Johari, has been stranded in Korea for the past 61 years.
She did not have the proper travel documents and was considered stateless, but all that may be about to change.
When she was abducted, she was put into a concentration camp. She was one of those forced to build the military airstrip in Senai.
Mariam was then married with three children. Her husband, Sunni Abdul Rahman, who married her when he was 12, also went missing during the war, and only returned home in 1950.
Before then, Mariam met Korean Cho Se Won, fell in love with him and, in 1946, followed him back to Korea to seek his parent’s blessings to their marriage.
She left with the expectation of returning to Malaya soon, and promised her youngest child, Jamnah, then 5, “lots of cookies”.
However, it was three years before she could marry Cho and a series of unfortunate events, including the Korean War in 1950, left her stranded in Hampyong.
After the war, Cho took another wife and Mariam was forced to work as a maid in Seoul, for a household with three children where the wife was stricken with cancer.
The children grew close to Mariam, and when her employer’s wife died, Mariam became his common law wife. He died in 1992.
All the while, Mariam had been yearning for her children and family in Malaysia, with whom she had lost all contact.
The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) took an interest in her story and came to Malaysia to trace her family.
On Saturday, her three children were contacted after a reader gave the New Straits Times the telephone number of Mariam’s grandson, Jamil Onn, whose mother is Mariam’s eldest child, Ramlah, 72.
Jailani, a kuih seller in Kota Tinggi, now hopes the government will help to bring his 86-year-old mother home.
“For years, we thought we were orphans and prayed for our parents to come home. Our father died in 1972.
“Alhamdullillah (Thank God), now we know our mother is alive and well in Seoul. We pray for her safe return.”
On Sunday night, Jailani, his sisters, and other family members got their first glimpse of Mariam in Seoul in a visual clip provided by KBS.
It showed Mariam celebrating her 86th birthday. She had a simple message of love for her children.
In her 1950s Malay lingo, she said: “My dear Ramlah, my dear Jailani, my dear Jamnah, it has been a long time since we last met but I have always missed you. I love you.
Her message brought tears to those watching.
At 8pm (9pm in Seoul), KBS arranged for a telephone conversation between Mariam and her children, with a Malaysian student in Seoul, Syira, acting as interpreter.
In a choked voice, Mariam apologised to her children.
Jailani replied: “…nanti, Jailani nak peluk dan cium mak. Kami rindu sangat dengan mak. (When we meet, I want to hug and kiss you. We all miss you very much.)”Article from NST.

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