In August 2009, Colin Bower was about to pick his sons up from a visit with their mother when he received a phone call from an unidentified man, threatening that he would never hear from his children again if he contacted authorities.

At the time, the children’s mother, Mirvat El Nady was boarding 9-year-old Noor and 7-year-old Ramsay on a flight to her native Egypt.

Bower, who was granted sole custody of the boys, has spent the last three and a half years trying to bring his children back home. More than a dozen trips to Egypt have resulted in only 3 brief supervised visits.

Despite being subject to a Federal and Massachusetts arrest warrant, El Nady remains absconded in Egypt, a non-signatory country to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. “I have an Egyptian court order allowing me custody, and that is just ignored by my ex-wife and her family.” said Bower. El Nady’s ties with the former Mubarak regime protected her, but the new Egyptian government may apply the court order. “I’ve been told by the Egyptians it is difficult to get it enforced.”

In the meantime, two recent developments spark hope for Bower. Senator John Kerry, who has been actively helping put pressure on the Egyptian government to return the Bower children to their father, would have a stronger negotiating handif he takes on the anticipated position of Secretary of State. Bower said Kerry has been an active supporter in his cause. “I have regular phone calls to his office. He has been incredibly engaged and a great champion. He is now in the position to take the momentum that he, himself, started in Congress, and to use the Department of State to engage and to resolve this issue.”

And a recent bi-partisan House resolution requested by Representative Barney Frank is calling on Egypt to end the kidnapping. Bower hopes this resolution will strengthen resolve to put pressure on the Egyptian government. “It tells the U.S. State Department and the White House that Congress is united on this issue." said Bower. “If Egypt does not comply with this request, there can be further steps taken by the U.S. Congress on this issue to get them to comply.”

In the meantime, Bower continues his fight, and works every channel to stay in touch with his children. Even if that contact is limited to Facebook posts. “They’re 9 and 11, and they’re quite savvy,” said Bower. “I know they were using iPads a year ago. I think it’s only a matter of time before they engage and they realize what they’re being told is absolutely not true. I know they’re seeing what it is that I’m writing, which is why I continue to post it.”

El Nady’s family has asked Bower to stop posting publicly about his efforts, but Bower remains undeterred. “It has been 40 months.” He said. “My ex-wife and her family, and what they’re doing – it is not sustainable. Quite simply, it is a short-term gain, and this is a long lifetime.”