After Helping His Family Flee The War, Syrian Man Reunites With His Mother and Sister In São Paulo

Abdulbasset Jarour hadn't seen his family in seven years

Flávia Mantovani
São Paulo

On each step of the stairs, a flower vase. On the table, hummus, meat pies, and pistachio sweets. On the bed, heart-shaped cushions. In the living room and bedroom, posters with "welcome" written in Arabic and Portuguese.

Abdulbasset Jarour, 28,  prepared each corner of his small house in São Paulo to receive its new dwellers: his mother Khadoui, 53, and baby sister Sedra, 16.

They were the two last remaining family members in his native Syria. They lived in Aleppo, one of the cities most affected by the war that in seven-year killed 500,000 people and made refugees out of another five million.

Abdulbasset Jarour between his mother and sister shortly after their arrival at Guarulhos airport - Screenshot/TV Folha

Abdo, as he is known in Brazil, has another four sisters and one brother. They all managed to escape Syria and are currently scattered around five countries: Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Germany, and Canada. Their father disappeared in 2015 and is presumed dead.

Folha witnessed the family reunion on December 16th, in Guarulhos airport. Surrounded by friends, Jarour alternated between nervousness and joy.

"Right now I am happiness impersonated. It's unbelievable that this dream came true. I always thought it was going to be hard, but not... how do you say? Impossible," he said, while he waited for the flight to land. Jarour's Portuguese is good, albeit with an accent.

Since his arrival in Brazil in 2014, he's been trying to bring his mother and sister out of Syria. There were several unsuccessful attempts until it he was able to do it. "Things there were very complicated," he said.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

Read the article in the original language​​