Chambersburg – Legal procedures are now underway in Egypt to bring home a Chambersburg boy who was kidnapped overseas by his father, 17 months ago.
Thanks to the strong will of his mother, Niko Atteya is now in a safer place. Niko’s aunts who live in Franklin County, say their job isn’t over until they bring their nephew and sister back home to central Pennsylvania.
Aunt, Maria Panagos says, “Never underestimate the determination and love that a mother has for her child.”
Maria and her sister, Olga Kriska own and operate Broadway Deli, in Chambersburg. Their third sister, Kallie Atteya, is Niko’s mom…the same woman who dressed in an Egyptian burka to get her son away from the father who kidnapped him.
Olga says, “The day came when her son got on the school bus and she went to the school and waited until he got off the bus and took him.”
In 2011, Niko was overseas to visit his dad. According to our sources, Niko’s father, Mohammed, lives in Egypt. Mohammed kidnapped Niko by driving away with him on a trip…throwing Niko’s mother and aunt Maria out of the car, with no where to go.
Maria says, “The last words that I had visioned in my mind was Niko yelling for his mom and aunt and banging ont he window and his tears.”
Then last month, Niko reunited with his mother. Niko and his mom are working with the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, awaiting the proper paperwork to return home.
In the meantime, the aunts say Niko is in a safe house with his mom at an undisclosed location.
Maria says, “When she gets her mind to something, she goes after it and does it, her son was her life.”
The aunts say their goal is for Niko to live freely as a normal kid. They say their sister and Niko may both need counseling after their painful experiences in Egypt.