Wales

Bid to bring mother to Wales from five-year war in Syria

Abeer Jones
Image caption Abeer Jones has been in the UK for 10 years

A woman from north Wales is petitioning the UK government to allow her Syrian mother to join her amid fears she is too frail to survive in the war-torn country any longer.

Abeer Jones from Abergele, Conwy, said new rules meant her mother was not eligible for a humanitarian visa.

Mrs Jones told BBC Wales she could afford to support her mother and had shown proof to officials.

The UK government said applications were considered on individual merits.

Mrs Jones' mother Hayat Ghajar, 70, lives in a bomb-damaged apartment in Aleppo with her two other daughters.

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Media captionMrs Jones' sister Dania Abozlam talks about the conditions the family are living in

Mrs Jones spoke to BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme on the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of civil war in Syria, saying: "I don't want anything from the government.

"I've been here for 10 years and I've never claimed a penny. I will give my mum half of my meal, I will give her my bed and I will sleep on the floor.

"I'm worried sick about them. I can't stop worrying about them."

Image caption Hayat Ghajar lives in Aleppo

Mrs Ghajar is only allowed to apply for a six-month visitor visa, but officials have refused to grant one to her and her daughters.

The family said it was because officials do not believe they can financially support themselves, or that they would return to Syria.

However, Mrs Jones said she provided documents proving she could support the three women.

The programme will show mobile phone footage filmed in Aleppo of the family dealing with electricity, food and water shortages, and fears of further attacks.

Mrs Jones' sister Dania Abozlam said: "It's very cold and I'm very worried about my mum because it's very cold here and we don't have electricity, and we feel very frightened.

"When I go [to work] sometimes I feel afraid. Sometimes I feel I won't be coming to my home. Maybe I will die."

Image caption Yasin and Asmaa Al Fashtaki with Nabil reunited in Cardiff

The programme also caught up with Asmaa Al Fashtaki, who arrived in the UK illegally while five months pregnant.

Her son was born in Cardiff, and she waited a year to be reunited with her husband Yasin.

She said: "I know I am coming to here illegally and I said I am very sorry I do that.

"Because we don't have another choice - we are in the war and we should go out of my country. I will be a good woman and my husband will be a good man. We will work and make everything good for this country."

Week In Week Out is broadcast on BBC One Wales on Tuesday 15 March at 22:40 GMT

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