Dad says he’s angry travel ban kept family apart

Hassan 2 on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland California

Hassan 2 on life support at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland California

Finally, following an intervention and a lawsuit from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the boy's mother Shaima received a visa waiver from the State Department and rejoined her family in California on December 19.

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After Abdullah's diagnosis, his father took him to the U.S. for treatment hoping that Shaima will be able to join them soon.

It was his family's fight and lawsuit against the US government to bring the child's mother, to the USA that gained national attention.

The 2-year-old passed away Friday at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, California, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The family was staying in Cairo while Swileh tried to obtain a waiver to that ban, which would allow her a visa to travel with her family to the United States to receive medical treatment for Abdullah, but she was repeatedly denied travel documents, Hassan said.

Hassan and members of the Islamic community prayed at the funeral for Abdullah and listened to remarks from Muhammad Younus, imam of the California Islamic Center in Lodi.

A funeral is scheduled for Saturday. "We're very relieved that didn't happen but at the same time, I think all of us start thinking that, if this Muslim ban wasn't in place to begin with, Abdullah and his mother would have been here together over a year ago'".

As part of Muslim tradition, a body must be buried within 72 hours of death.

Swileh sent 28 requests to the US embassy asking for a waiver but was rejected each time because of Trump's travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries including Yemen. "We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives". An advocacy group successfully sued, and she got to the USA a little over a week before her son died. Swileh is not an American citizen and remained in Egypt as she fought for a visa for over a year so the family could move to the United States. Thankfully, her visa was later granted and she was able to see her son one last time.

"We hope through Abdullah's struggle and passing, that people who are affected by the Muslim ban from Yemen, Libya, Iran and Somalia and Syria, that we hope through his life, policy will be changed, and families will be reunited", Hassan said. 'In his short life, Abdullah has been a guiding light for all of us in the fight against xenophobia and family separation'.

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