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Parents’ plea for son’s homecoming

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Parents' plea for son’s homecoming

DESPERATE parents Sarab Meslmani and Abdul Majeed Hijazi are pleading for their son to be allowed to settle with them in Dumfries.

The Syrian couple have been in the town for three years, creating a new life and making new friends locally.

And now they want son Naeem, who has been studying in Ukraine, to be allowed to join them.

In the last few weeks he has had to flee Kharkiv after the Russian invasion, first going to the city of Lviv before walking for miles to the Polish border then getting a coach to Germany.

However, because he is classed as a refugee after leaving Syria as a teenager with his parents due to the civil war, he is not yet entitled to come to the UK under the new visa rules for Ukrainians.

Sarab and Abdul are calling on the Home Office to review his application and let him be with his family.

A petition has been started and MSPs and MPs are being lobbied.

The family and their supporters are pointing out that Naeem, 23, has suffered through three different wars in three different countries.

After leaving Syria they spent time in Lebanon and were registered by the UN as refugees.

But Naeem, who dreams of being a doctor, then went to Port Sudan to read medicine at the Red Sea University.

It meant they were all separated when the process for resettlement started and Naeem was not allowed to re-enter Lebanon and therefore could not attend the interviews to enter the UK with everyone else.

However, the family were assured he would be able to join them later.

In 2019 his studies were halted by a military coup and he had to leave Sudan, ending up in Egypt.

He had hoped that finally he would be able to complete his degree when he got a visa to study at Kharkiv but the recent events have disrupted his plans once again.

Calling on locals to support their campaign, a spokeswoman for the family said: “Sarab and Abdul really need your help and support to get the Home Office to review his application and finally let him be with his family.”

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