Rabat - 10-year-old Syrian refugee Haider Jalabi has appealed to King Mohammed VI to allow him join his father in Morocco after he was declined a visa for a third time.
Rabat – 10-year-old Syrian refugee Haider Jalabi has appealed to King Mohammed VI to allow him join his father in Morocco after he was declined a visa for a third time.
According to the Middle East Eye, the Syrian refugee has been trying to join his father, 38-year-old Bashar Jalabi, a former soldier in the ranks of the Assad military, in Morocco since June.
The father has legal residency in Morocco and is married to a Moroccan woman who had been living with him in Syria before the start of the revolution.
Bashar travelled to Turkey to bring Haider, who had been living in the country, to Morocco. When they arrived at the Casablanca airport from Turkey they were told they could not enter the country because Jabali’s son does not have a Moroccan residency permit.
After spending two days sleeping on the floor of Casablanca Airport, they were eventually deported back to Turkey. Bashar has since returned to Morocco to join his wife and three-year-old son, but Haider has been living in Istanbul while supporters try to get him a Moroccan visa.
A hashtag on Twitter #MoroccoLetHaiderEnter has also been created to raise awareness about the campaign and help the Syrian child get a Moroccan visa so he can rejoin his father.
Boutaina Azzabi, a Dutch-Moroccan journalist, has been looking after the boy in Istanbul since his father returned to Morocco in mid-July.
“It’s not the easiest thing to take care of a child who has been through so much – moving from place to place like that is a lot for a 10-year-old,” Azzabi told Middle East Eye on Thursday.
“He has nightmares in the evenings, and sometimes when we go out and have fun he cries and says he wishes he could do these things with his father.
“I spend all my time with him because I don’t want him to feel lonely. He has no relatives in Turkey now, and I have been supporting him financially.
“He isn’t going to school, so I’ve bought him books so at least he can learn new things. He’s a bright kid, and very well-behaved, but he needs his family.”
Bashar had already tried to obtain his son a residency permit from the Moroccan embassy in Beirut, but was denied both times.
In a letter dated 27 July, the office of the Turkish Prime Minister called on Moroccan authorities to grant Haider a visa as soon as possible owing to his “special” circumstances.
According to the Middle East Eye, despite the letter, his visa application was refused on 11 August, and no reason was given.
Morocco is home to around 3,000 refugees, according to UN figures.
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