As far as I know if he says the words then its valid, doesn’t matter what the situation is. But just to be sure its always best to ask the right people regarding these matters.
You can contact the "General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments" here in the UAE, you can contact them online and ask about
http://www.awqaf.gov.ae/Page.aspx?Lang= ... oCeLrw_wcB
"On Islam" is also a website dedicated to non Arabic speaking Muslims, it answers a variety of questions and might help you a lot, you can also send in your own questions and they will answer you.
http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/ ... right.html
Best of luck, hope you
hear good news