Syr­ian woman’s pe­ti­tion to bring her fam­ily to UK

One cousin in Ger­many, but oth­ers feared liv­ing in refugee camp

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Laura Mowat laura.mowat@trin­i­tymir­

A SYR­IAN-BORN woman has started a pe­ti­tion to bring her vul­ner­a­ble fam­ily to Che­sham.

Na­joua Houidi-Wor­rell, who lives in Milton Road Che­sham, has in­creas­ing wor­ries for her sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives in a Le­banese refugee camp.

The mother-of-one plans to present the pe­ti­tion to Che­sham and Amer­sham MP Ch­eryl Gil­lan.

Na­joua has lived in Che­sham since 2012, af­ter meet­ing her hus­band Stu­art Wor­rell on a hol­i­day in Tu­nisia that year.

Na­joua said: “We have not heard from one un­cle and aunt and their fam­ily in more than two years since a bomb­ing in their home town of Qu­naitra.

“My grand­mother was con­firmed killed in that at­tack. We now have no idea where the ex­tended fam­ily is in Syria.”

Na­joua works as Ara­bic in­ter­preter an at Hert­ford­shire County Coun­cil as well as at Waitrose in Che­sham.

Her eldest cousin, Omar, has started a new life in Ger­many, but she is very wor­ried for her aunt and cousins left be­hind in Le­banon.

“He told his mother he was aware of the risks but rather than die slowly in the Le­banon, he pre­ferred to take his chances and make the dif­fi­cult and dan­ger­ous jour­ney to Europe. Af­ter sail­ing in an in­flat­able dingy from Tur­key to Greece and walk­ing across the forests of Mace­do­nia, he has just ar­rived in Mu­nich,” said Na­joua.

The fam­ily re­cently left the refugee camp set up on the borders of Syria out of in­creas­ing con­cern over sex­ual ag­gres­sion and ha­rass­ment.

Her aunt has told Na­joua: “Here I have no hope, we are dy­ing, we have noth­ing and no prospects for the fu­ture. Things can only get worse. We are all dead any­way, this is not life.”

Na­joua con­tacted Mrs

DES­PER­ATE: The Dagh­es­tani fam­ily in Syria Gil­lan in May 2014, but she was told that noth­ing could be done as it was not a pri­or­ity case. She hopes that her aunt’s ap­pli­ca­tion for asy­lum in the UK will be re­con­sid­ered es­pe­cially with the of­fer of sup­port from fam­ily and friends in Che­sham.

Dr Siob­han By­gate, who has lived in Che­sham since 1994 and is sup­port­ing Na­joua’s cam­paign, said: “The UK now has a duty to help sim­i­lar vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple flee­ing Syria to­day. I would ask ev­ery­body in Che­sham to sup­port this cam­paign.

“We are ap­proach­ing lo­cal churches and the Mosque to eval­u­ate how to pro­ceed to help this fam­ily at a lo­cal level and will also be pe­ti­tion­ing Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil to see if we can or­gan­ise some more in­sti­tu­tional sup­port. It is now time to show what the ‘Best of Bri­tish’ re­ally means.”

Na­joua added: “I have al­ways found Che­sham to be a tol­er­ant and wel­com­ing place. Now is the time for the UK to hon­our its long history of re­ceiv­ing refugees from ar­eas of con­flict.

“The Prime Min­is­ter, David Cameron, has made the im­por­tant point that we should process ap­pli­ca­tions from the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple left be­hind in refugee camps, who are not able or can­not af­ford to make the ar­du­ous jour­ney through smug­glers to Europe. Surely, we should now pri­ori­tise those fam­i­lies and es­pe­cially

PLEA FOR HELP: Na­joua Houidi-Wor­rell with her hus­band Stu­art and their son with the pe­ti­tion ask­ing for help those with rel­a­tives in the UK who can help them move and set­tle. I want to give my fam­ily hope.”

If you can of­fer any sup­port to the fam­ily, do so by con­tact­ing Na­joua on na­joua­houidi@gmail. com. Sign the pe­ti­tion at www.thep­e­ti­tion­ en-gb/497/667/483/kha­lafdagh­es­tani-fam­ilysyr­i­an­refugee-re­lo­ca­tion-toche­sham/.

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