A 107-year-old Syrian refugee, Sabria Kahalaf, was reunited with 20 members of her family in Germany on Monday, including her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and 33-day-old great-great-granddaughter, the AP reported.
Khalaf fled Syria with her son, Kenan, seven months ago, first traveling to Turkey and then Greece, according to Germany’s DPA news agency, AP said. European Union regulations require refugees to apply for asylum in the first EU country they reach, which in Khalaf’s case was Greece. However, authorities agreed to expedite Khalaf’s request to transfer to Germany, where other relatives had fled from Syria, on humanitarian grounds, according to the Office for Migrants and Refugees. Khalaf is a member of Syria’s Kurdish minority.
Khalaf’s ordeal came to light after a German lawmaker saw a report about Khalaf in the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung earlier this month, and then urged German President Joachim Gauck to help Khalaf’s family, according to the AP.
The Syrian conflict has displaced an estimated 6.5 million Syrians inside the country, with at least 2.5 million having fled to other countries. Germany has agreed to take in 10,000 Syrians, the highest commitment of any EU state.
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