Syrian remains in Dubai airport while seeking a new country

Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A Syrian truckdriver who served a sentence for drugs will be allowed to stay at the Dubai airport until he can find a country to take him, officials say.

Wasfi Tayseer Jarad, 34, has been living off handouts in Terminal 2. Sources told Gulf News on Monday he will be moved to a deportee area in Terminal 1 and given sleeping quarters and food.

Jarad comes from Daraa in southern Syria, a hotly contested area in the civil war, and his family is now living in a refugee camp in Jordan. He fears he will be killed if he returns to Syria.

Syria refused to renew his passport while he was imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates, instead giving him a document that allows him only to return to his homeland. He has been refused entry by Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

"We cannot send him back to his home country due to the conflict over there, while Jarad is blacklisted from entering several countries," police sources told Gulf News. "Even if he gets a valid passport, Syrian nationals need to obtain a visa in advance before entering a foreign country."

Jarad was sentenced to seven years in 2010 after drugs were found in his truck but released early after he memorized the Koran in jail. He denies being involved with drugs, saying they were concealed in his truck by someone else.

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