Mourners honor boy whose Yemeni mom fought USA travel ban

Cheryl Sanders
December 31, 2018

Because she is Yemeni, Swileh was restricted from traveling to the United States under the White House travel ban that's keeping citizens from Yemen and four other mostly Muslim countries, along with North Korea and Venezuela, from entering the country.

Abdullah Hassan died Friday at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, where his father, brought him in the fall to get treatment for a degenerative brain condition.

Like his father, Abdullah was an American citizen, and Mr Hassan took him to California in the autumn to seek treatment as his condition worsened.

Abdullah Hassan
Abdullah Hassan has died

Before Abdullah and Ali returned to the USA, their family lived in Egypt where they settled after fleeing the war in Yemen in 2016.

"We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives", CAIR quoted Ali Hassan, Abdullah's father and Swileh's husband, as saying. His mother Shaima Swileh remained behind in their Egypt home.

Swileh held her son for the first time in hospital on December 19. He had moved to Egypt after marrying his wife Shaima Swileh in Yemen in 2016. The boy and father are US citizens.


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.

As the couple fought for a waiver, doctors put Abdullah on life support. As he was considering pulling the child off life support, a hospital social worker reached out to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sued the administration on December 16, said council Executive Director Basim Elkarra. "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'".

A 2-year-old boy whose Yemeni mother successfully fought the Trump administration's travel ban to be able to visit her child before he died has been buried in Lodi after a funeral Saturday afternoon.


He said he was starting to lose hope and had considered taking his son off life support to stop him suffering further.

Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday night after the advocacy group sued the USA to grant her waiver from the Trump administration's travel ban.

"With their courage, this family has inspired our nation to confront the realities of Donald Trump's Muslim ban", said CAIR attorney Saad Sweilem, who helped the family negotiate the USA bureaucracy.


A young boy whose mother had to fight for permission to visit him from Yemen as he lay gravely ill in a USA hospital has died, a rights group said Saturday.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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