Yemeni mother wins battle to see her dying son in US | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 AM, December 20, 2018

Yemeni mother wins battle to see her dying son in US

A mother from Yemen was granted Tuesday her wish to see her dying toddler one last time in the United States, which agreed to issue her a waiver from its ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.

Two-year-old Abdullah Hassan, a US citizen like his father, suffers from a rare genetic brain condition and is on life support in a hospital in Oakland, California.

But his mother, Shaima Swileh, had been unable to join him due to President Donald Trump's order barring visitors from six countries including Yemen.

After a tearful televised plea from the boy's father prompted public outrage, the US embassy in Cairo issued a visa for Swileh, who has been living temporarily in Egypt.

She will arrive in San Francisco late Wednesday, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim civil rights group that assisted the family.

"This is the happiest day of my life," her husband, Ali Hassan, said in a statement.

"This will allow us to mourn with dignity."

Hassan said he had been ready to take his son off life support last week after doctors said the case was terminal, with his wife only receiving automated replies when inquiring with US authorities on her visa application.

Abdullah's grandfather earlier told the San Francisco Chronicle that Swileh was crying every day as she wanted to see her son "one last time."

"To hold him for at least a minute. She's not going to see him forever," he said.

Representative Barbara Lee, a Democrat who represents Oakland and took up Swileh's case, had described denying the mother a visa as a level of cruelty that "takes my breath away."

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