OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An Oakland business owner has been stuck in Yemen for more than a year. His relatives said the U.S. Embassy has confiscated his passport and won’t let him return home.
The door to Oak-Town Fashions on San Pablo Avenue has been locked up, as owner Rayman Hussen remains stuck in the Middle East nation.
Hussein, a naturalized U.S. Citizen, flew back to his birthplace in late 2012 to visit his wife and son. Since then, the U.S. Government has kept him from returning to Oakland.
According to his family, a U.S. Embassy in Yemen confiscated is passport and accused him of identity fraud; apparently the name doesn’t match up.
“I’m really concerned about it. I feel bad why that happened,” Abdo Ali Hussein, Rayman’s uncle told KPIX 5.
His uncle said Rayman, an alumnus of San Francisco State University, is living with family in Yemen in the meantime.
The U.S. Embassy has not said when Rayman Hussein can return.
KPIX 5 contacted the Yemeni consulate in San Francisco by phone. A staff member said she has received similar complaints from other naturalized citizens stuck in Yemen. No one seems to know what is causing the problem and how many people are stuck. A State Department spokeswoman said she would look into it.
Some people speculate it may be tied to national security. Terrorist groups continue to recruit from Yemen and nearby countries.
“Our family is a good family. We have nothing to do with terrorists. Terrorists are away from where we are,” Abdo Ali Hussein said.
Rayman’s uncle said the 30-year-old has spent most of his life in the East Bay, and his home is here. “I hope, I hope Rayman gets here soon,” he said.