“In his short life, Abdullah has been a guiding light for all of us in the fight against xenophobia and family separation.”
Abdullah Hassan, the boy with a genetic brain condition whose Yemeni mother had to fight President Trump’s travel ban in order to be by his hospital bed in the US, died Friday. He was 2.
Abdullah had been on life support at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, where he was taken by his father from Egypt a few months ago for medical care.
According to CNN, both the boy and his father, Ali Hassan, are US citizens. His mother, Shaima Swileh, who is from Yemen and lives in Egypt, is not.
As Abdullah’s health declined and doctors said he did not have long to live, the family fought for Swileh to be granted a visa waiver that would let her see her son one last time.
Trump’s travel ban, which the Supreme Court upheld in June, restricts admission to the US for people coming in from several majority-Muslim countries, including Yemen. It has been widely criticized as being anti-Muslim, particularly because Trump has previously called for a “Muslim ban.”
In a press conference earlier this month, Hassan wept and spoke of his longing for their family to be reunited “one last time.”
“My wife is calling me every day wanting to kiss and hold our son for the one last time,” Hassan said. “Time is running out. Please help us.”
On Dec. 18, Swileh was granted a visa waiver, a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Sacramento Valley (CAIR-SV) chapter confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
She took the next possible flight to the US, arriving the following day, and was finally reunited with her husband and son after months apart.
A funeral for Abdullah will be held Saturday. A crowdfunding campaign to help the family cover travel and funeral costs has been arranged.
Reported By: Buzz Feed News