Cupar family reunited after passport ordeal

Stephen Gethins MP is pictured with Adam Alakil and his children Hashem and Tasnim.
Stephen Gethins MP is pictured with Adam Alakil and his children Hashem and Tasnim.

A Cupar family, split by the war in Yemen, have been reunited at their family home following a bureaucratic battle over entry to the UK.

Adam Alakil, born in Falkirk, grew up in Yemen and married and had children there. Yet, when the war began four years ago and rockets started falling beside their home, he knew he had to get his wife and young children out.

For the last two years Adam has lived in Cupar, working tirelessly to save enough cash to cover the cost of visas and flights for his family.

The family were dealt yet another blow when they were told wife Hadeel would have to go to Sudan to apply for a spouse visa.

The children Hashem (9) and Tasnim (8) have British passports but even that and the fact their lives were in daily danger, was not enough to convince UK immigration officials to let them in.

For the last month the family have lived in Khartoum, at the epicentre of a military coup, each day trying to find out if the visa application had been approved and a passport issued.

Finally, last week the family heard the good news that Hadeel’s passport had been granted.

Adam said: “This has been a really tough ordeal. Being separated from my family for such a long time and knowing they were living in one of the worst affected areas of Yemen was awful. I was only able to go back once and had to escape though the desert to get back to Scotland again where I needed to work to get enough money to get them out. Being in Sudan was very difficult as well, all the time not knowing if we would get the passport and bring them home.”

He added: “I am really grateful to Stephen Gethins for all his help, I don’t think we would all be together again if it hasn’t been for his persistence in drawing this to the attention of the Prime Minister and meeting with various Government ministers to make our case.”

Mr Gethins MP said: “It was great to meet the family and know they are now safe. This has been one of the longest-running and most difficult cases my office has dealt with and I am very glad it has had a happy ending.

“The UK Government must put people’s lives ahead of its hostile immigration policies and ensure anyone trying to flee a war zone is given the help they need.”