Desperate father begs Foreign Office to help rescue traumatised son from wartorn Syria

 

The father of a six-year-old British boy who has been stranded in war torn Syria since the conflict began has pleaded for the Government to step in and help bring him home “before it is too late”.

Birmingham-born Muadh Zain has cheated death in multiple bomb blasts during which he witnessed his uncle horrifically killed by shrapnel and another relative suffer a severe head injury. Over the last three years he has also seen his hometown reduced to rubble amid the ongoing bombardment and slaughter.

City worker Wael Zain said his son has become so traumatised having become stranded among the ruins inside the rebel stronghold of Daraa that he has stopped talking and clings on to his Syrian mother, Doha, refusing to let go.

Mr Zain, 30, who has lived in the UK all his life and works for financial services giant Allianz in Canary Wharf, London, set up an online campaign in April. He said he has begged Foreign Secretary William Hague to intervene and get his son out of the war zone but claims his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. He believes all it will take is a phone call to the Jordanian authorities to temporarily reopen its border with Syria to allow mother and son to get into the country and reach the British Embassy.

Mr Zain said: “My son is a British child. The Government has a real responsibility to act, but they aren’t. I wake up each day fearing the worst. I’m taking every hour as it comes, but I just don’t know what is going to happen. It is so unpredictable. I want my son to be safe. I don’t want him to be flown home in a coffin.”

Mr Zain separated from his wife two years ago and she returned to her immediate family with Muadh in a small village near Nawa, in the province of Daraa, south west Syria. He said they planned to return to the UK to settle permanently as Mrs Zain had indefinite leave to remain, but then the civil war broke out and gradually spread to Muadh’s village engulfing locals. Her right to remain expired as the pair became trapped in a conflict which has now claimed more than 160,000 lives.

Mr Zain went to Jordan two weeks ago but officials in Britain did not tell him the border was closed. As his ex-wife’s indefinite leave status has expired Mr Zain fears what effects an attempt to separate his son from his mother would have should she not be granted entry.

He told The Independent: “They both have to get across the Jordanian border. I haven’t seen Muadh in three years so if I tried to get only him across he’d probably feel like he was being kidnapped. He never leaves his mother’s side now.”

Mr Zain said the terror of living in a war zone unable to flee has had a devastating effect on his blonde-haired son. Muadh was caught up in a barrel bomb attack three months ago that led one of his eyes becoming inverted.

He said: “Muadh is absolutely traumatised. The last time I was able to speak to him directly was four months ago and he just said a few words. Every day that passes the situation grows more chaotic.

“At the moment they are staying in an open field under some olive trees. They fled their home after her neighbour’s house was struck by a bomb. If you are staying under a roof it is only a matter of luck if you are struck by a bomb or not. Muadh has seen more horrors than I can possibly imagine.”

Daraa is just a 15-minute drive away from the border with Jordan. Mr Zain believes it will take just one phonecall from the Foreign Office to persuade the Jordanian authorities to reopen it temporarily and allow Muadh and his mother to cross and then travel on to Britain.

He said: “They are literally a 15-minute drive to the Jordanian border and the UK has very strong ties to Jordan. They are just a short drive away from safety. No child should have to live through the destruction and violence my son is seeing.”

More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Mr Hague to do everything in his power to bring Muadh home. A spokesman said the Foreign Office is aware of the situation and offering advice and assistance to the family.

He said: “The British Government is no longer represented in Syria. The UK Border Agency is therefore unable to accept visa applications in country. Visa applicants should apply in Lebanon or Jordan.

“For some years FCO travel advice has advised against all travel to Syria, and all UK consular services in Syria were suspended some time ago. Our ability to assist British nationals is becoming more and more limited as the war continues. We continue to advise all British nationals in Syria to leave by whatever means.”

Mr Zain said: “I have explained countless times they arrived in the country before war broke out and became trapped. The Foreign Office has been abysmal to deal with. I don’t know what else I can do.”

Click here to sign the petition

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
arts + entsJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Life and Style
tech

Did she really send it? And if so, what on?

Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
film

"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin married in Venice yesterday
peopleAmal and George Clooney 'planning third celebration in England'
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley at the premiere of Laggie at Toronto Film Festival 2014
theatreActress 'to make Broadway debut'
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Focused Business Analyst - Finance and Procurement System Implementation

£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...

Head of Business Development and Analytics - TV

competitive benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Outstanding analytic expertise is req...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high q...

Head of ad sales international - Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker