Dubai: Dubai Immigration and airport authorities have intervened in the case of a Syrian national who woke up on Thursday morning still stranded at Dubai International Airport Terminal 2.
Investigators from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai flanked by airport security escorted 34-year-old Wasfi Tayseer Jarad to airport immigration offices to find a way forward to help resolve the travel impasse.
Jarad has been living at Terminal 2 for the past 17 days following his release from Dubai Central Jail where he had served three years of a seven-year drugs-related sentence imposed in 2010.
He received an early pardon and was released earlier this month after memorising the Quran in jail. “I cannot go back to Syria fearing for my life,” Jarad told Gulf News from the airport.
Jarad confirmed that he refused authorities’ requests on Thursday to board an aircraft bound for Latakia, Syria, and that he would prefer to travel to any other country other than Syria. Jarad said he does not have any idea what to do.
“My family fled Syria to Al Zatary refugee camp in Jordan. My father told me that he will try to get me a Syrian passport and send it to me here,” he said. The meeting with Dubai immigration and airport officials was unproductive, he said, but officials said they were hopeful that a passport could be secured by Jarad’s family to help him travel.
Dubai police tried to help Jarad renew his passport with the Syrian Consulate in Dubai. Police said the request was not successful.
Jarad said that he has no money as he has spent all his money on airfare. Jarad’s bag contains few belongings. He said the airport authorities allowed one of his friends to send underwear to him. He washes his one set of clothes in the public washroom.
“I’m sleeping on the chairs for a few minutes as it is so hard to sleep deeply while sitting on the chair with the noise around,” he said. “Many workers at the airport know me. Most pity me and some even cry after listening to my story of being stranded here. Currently, no country wants to receive me because I’m Syrian and because I have no passport. I hope someone will give me a helping hand.”