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Family of Afghan boy stranded in France accuse Priti Patel of making false promises

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(Last Updated On: July 23, 2022)

The family of an 11-year-old Afghan refugee stranded in France after getting separated from his parents in the Kabul airport bombing last year has accused Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel of making “false promises” over safe routes into the UK.

Qamar Jabarkhyl, a 28-year-old UK citizen, said his “heart melts” when his young cousin, Obaidullah, calls him crying every day from the tiny flat where he is staying in Strasbourg, Bloomberg reported.

Obaidullah and his parents, along with his twin brother and older sister, fled his home city of Jalalabad during the chaotic US troop withdrawal in August last year.

According to Jabarkhyl, the family had hoped to get a flight to the UK but were separated when a bomb was detonated outside the airport on August 26.

Obaidullah was mistakenly put on a flight to France, where he has been stuck “unhappy and scared” for the last eight months, Jabarkhyl, said.

A 22-year-old Afghan refugee living in a studio flat in Strasbourg has taken Obaidullah under his wing, but works long hours and cannot afford to care for him full-time.

Bloomberg reported that in March, a family reunion visa application was made for Obaidullah on the advice of the Home Office, which promised it would be dealt with swiftly, Jabarkhyl said.

The same month, Obaidullah had his 11th birthday, thousands of miles away from his loved ones for the first time.

“It was really hard. I asked the guy he lives with to buy him a birthday cake but he said he was crying all day long. He didn’t even want to cut his own cake,” Jabarkhyl said.

“It just melts your heart when an 11-year-old boy is calling 20 times a day just to say ‘hello’ and ‘hi.’

“He’s not the same boy I would talk to on the phone in Afghanistan years ago, telling me hundreds of stories about his friends, what vegetables his family is growing in their garden.”

Four months later, the family say the Home Office has still failed to confirm whether Obaidullah will be able to stay with them in the UK, Bloomberg reported.

“I just feel the Home Office don’t even care, with these empty promises Priti Patel makes about letting people from Afghanistan settle in the country,” Jabarkhyl said.

Obaidullah’s parents and sister could not be evacuated and have moved to a rural area of Afghanistan Jabarkhyl said, adding that the boy’s twin brother made it to the UK.

The youngster is desperate to be reunited with his brother and eventually the rest of his family, Bloomberg reported.

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UN Security Council to meet over situation in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday that will focus on the current situation in Afghanistan.

UNSC members are expected to discuss economic, humanitarian and security concerns.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) spokesman Bilal Karimi said the IEA welcomed meetings that are held with the aim of cooperating with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He also said that Afghans expect cooperation and that such meetings must be held in accordance with international laws and principles.

However, the IEA still does not have a designated UN representative – one year after taking control of the country.

Instead, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, who assumed leadership of the Afghan mission to the UN in December last year, will address the security council members.

The IEA does not however recognize him as the legitimate envoy to the UN.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Faiq said that he would address the security council meeting and speak on behalf of Afghans.

“On behalf of Afghans, in this important meeting, like always, I would like to raise the voice of my nation,” he said.

In September last year, the IEA asked the UN to accredit Suhail Shaheen, the head of the IEA’s political office in Qatar, as the new ambassador.

But in December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in which it indefinitely delayed a decision over the rival claims to the representative seat for Afghanistan.

At the time, the IEA criticized the UN’s failure to decide on this issue, saying it was ignoring the rights of the Afghan people.

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Influential Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi dies at 96

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar, died on Monday, according to a post on his official Twitter account.

The cleric was an Egyptian Islamic scholar and was chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

He was best known for his programme al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 40–60 million worldwide.

He is also known for IslamOnline, a website he helped to found in 1997 and for which he served as chief religious scholar.

Al-Qaradawi published more than 120 books, and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, and is considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars today.

Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian political organization, although he repeatedly stated that he was no longer a member. He has over the years been critical of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

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Rare 5,000-carat Afghan ruby unveiled in Dubai

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

A rare 5,000-carat gemstone that went on private display in Dubai has been heralded as a “blessing from heaven” for the residents of the impoverished village in which it was unearthed.

The ruby, which weighs about 1 kilogram, has been hailed as “one of a kind” due to its rich purple coloring and size, the National News reported.

The ruby was discovered in the village of Hyderabad, bordering Iran and Afghanistan and its owner said he hoped the unexpected find would help bring a change of fortune for villagers without access to schools, hospitals or even electricity for some.

The uncut stone could cost at least $10 million in the market, asset manager Patrick Pilati told The National.

“It was an accidental finding from the village called Hyderabad bordering Iran and Afghanistan. There is no mining activity in the village that is under the jurisdiction of Afghanistan,” he said.

The rough stone is deep purple in color and bigger than the palm of a hand.

A certificate of authenticity …by the International Testing Laboratory Gems and Jewellery, in Jaipur, Rajasthan in India, and shown to The National, stated the rough ruby weighs 5,010 carats.

Azad Rokhsati, a gemologist, who was also present at the event, confirmed the size and weight.

“I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

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