Published October 25, 2013
A Syrian man has reportedly been stuck in Dubai’s International Airport for 16 days. In real-life story that mirrors Tom Hanks’ experience in “The Terminal,” Wasfi Tayseer Jarad has made terminal 2 his home for over 2 weeks, according to Reuters. The conflict in Syria has made travel back to his homeland impossible, but with an expired passport and previous drug conviction, travel to another country has not been an option.
Gulf News has reported that Jarad was recently released from a U.A.E. prison and has since struggled to reunite with his family that have since fled to Al Zatary refugee camp in Jordan. After multiple attempts to gain access to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Jarad faced an unsuccessful attempt at a passport renewal. Reuters is reporting that the case has now fallen between multiple jurisdictions with confounded efforts between Dubai immigration, police and the Syrian Consulate in Dubai.
Jarad served three years of a seven-year sentence after memorizing the Koran, according to Gulf News, but has become more anxious about his current situation with each day. He has run out of money and tries to stay clean by washing in airport toilets.
“I’m sleeping on the chairs for a few minutes as it is so hard to sleep deeply while sitting on the chair with the noise around,” he told the paper. “Many workers at the airport know me. Most pity me and some even cry after listening to my story of being stranded here. Currently, no country wants to receive me because I’m Syrian and because I have no passport. I hope someone will give me a helping hand.”