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Family reunites after 8 years apart due to immigration challenges

family reunites after 8 years apart
Posted at 9:19 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 12:19:43-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — For the last eight years, Nada Alkhiat lived across the world from her husband Marwan Alhasany. When the war in Syria broke out, she and her husband escaped to Egypt. She moved to Tucson but her husband had to stay behind.

"I applied for a visa to visit my brother and they approved me but not my husband," she said.

Alkhiat worked every day to move the immigration process along for her and her husband.

"The only choice for me was to apply for a refugee, for asylum and that takes three interviews,” she said. "Can you imagine waiting eight years waiting for the mailman to come with news?"

But the community stepped in and helped her in the meantime.

"Everybody helping us," she said. "The church, the mosque, the people and my American neighbors.”

But despite the good neighbors and helpful organizations, she said she's frustrated with the immigration process.

"Like to the people in power, why does it take so long?" she said. "Why did my son never see his dad?"

When she came to Tucson, she was pregnant. Her son Jad has never met his dad in person. She said video calls aren't the same as being together in person.

"It’s very hard because I have to support myself and find like day care for my son," she said. "My son is going to see him for the first time."

So when the moment finally came, it was nothing short of spectacular for Alkhiat and her son. As Alhasany came down the stairs at the airport, Jad ran quickly to him and the family hugged tearfully.

"I am very happy," Alhasany said. "This day is — I was born for this day."

This article was written by Tina Giuliano for KGUN.