Walking into Tucson airport this week, Muslim refugee Nada Alkhiat and her son Jad were over the moon for the prospect of being finally reunited with her husband after eight years of separation.
“I am very happy,” the husband, Marwan Alhasany told KGUN9. “This day is — I was born for this day.”
Fleeing the war in Syria, the family moved to Egypt. Later on, Alkhiat applied for visa to visit her brother in Tucson, Arizona, leaving her husband who had to stay behind.
“I applied for a visa to visit my brother and they approved me but not my husband,” she said.
For long eight years, Alkhiat worked every day to move the immigration process along for her and her husband.
“Everybody helping us,” she said. “The church, the mosque, the people and my American neighbors.”
“The only choice for me was to apply for a refugee, for asylum and that takes 3 interviews,” she said. “Can you imagine waiting eight years waiting for the mailman to come with news.”
As she was pregnant when she first came to Tucson, her son Jad had never met his father.
“It’s very hard because I have to support myself and find like day care for my son,” she said.
As several families got separated during the war, Alkhiat family isn’t the only family to be reunited after long years.
In 2018, a Muslim family from Syria arrived in Fredericton, Canada where they were welcomed by the other half of their family after three years of asylum separation.