There is an 11 year old British boy living in the UAE that has developed an acute fear of flying. Despite hypnotherapy he flatly refuses to step foot on a plane. No one is entirely sure why he suddenly feels this way as he has flown, without incident, several times in the past.
[Herbie. Photo credit: Richard Cartwright]
Ok, but why is this even remotely interesting? Well in and of itself it isn’t. The story gets interesting now as the family are due to return to the UK after living several years in Al Ain, and the youngster will start his new school term in September, in Somerset. In fact his mother and sister have already left, and he is now “stranded” here with his Dad. Drugging him is apparently not an option either as he has to enter the plane of his own volition.
So the only solution remaining now seems to be a route overland – which would logically entail crossing Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea port of Jeddah, and then hoping on a boat from Egypt to Europe, and overland again to the UK. Saudi Arabia initially refused visas but after the intervention of the Saudi Ambassador to London these have been provisionally granted. Volkswagen also contacted the family after the story first appeared in the news here, and have offered a convoy of their vehicles to provide the necessary road transport. They will also draft the final route for approval by the Saudis.
Is this indulgence or good parenting? Not sure, but I have a pretty good idea how my folks would have reacted haha.
Bon voyage Joe and Tony.