106-year old Afghan refugee Bibihal Uzbeki lies in bed in Hova, Sweden, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, and despite being severely disabled and barely able to speak, she is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was rejected. Bibihal Uzbeki made a perilous journey to Europe, carried by her son and grandson through mountains, deserts and forests, but has suffered a debilitating stroke and now faces deportation. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
Bibihal Uzbeki, a 106-year old Afghan refugee, lies in bed in Hova, Sweden where her family has been living while waiting to be granted asylum. David Keyton / AP Photo / September 3, 2017

Sweden turns down 106-year-old Afghan woman's asylum request



A 106-year-old Afghan woman who made a perilous journey to Europe, carried by her son and grandson through mountains, deserts and forests, is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was rejected.

Bibihal Uzbeki is severely disabled and can barely speak. Her family has appealed the rejection.

Their journey made headlines in 2015, when they were part of a huge influx of people who came to Europe from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. They travelled by foot and on trains through the Balkans before finally reaching Sweden.

Two years later, she and her 11 family members are living in the small village of Hova, in central Sweden.

Her rejection letter came during Ramadan. While the family avoided telling her, the constant grief from her granddaughters made her suspicious.

"My sisters were crying," said Mohammed Uzbeki, 22. "My grandmother asked, 'Why are you crying?'"

The family says that soon after she understood her request was denied, her health started deteriorating and she suffered a debilitating stroke.

The Swedish Migration Agency said only that they had "taken a decision regarding an expulsion in the case", and added, "generally speaking, high age does not in itself provide grounds for asylum".

People whose applications are rejected are allowed up to three appeals, a process that can take a long time. The applications of Bibihal's other family members are in various stages of appeal.

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The family feels the plight of Afghans is being ignored by Swedish authorities. Many countries in Europe deny asylum to Afghans from parts of the country considered safe.

"The reasoning from the migration agency is that it's not unsafe enough in Afghanistan," said Sanna Vestin, the head of the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups. But she said many of the big cities cited as safe are not at the moment.

Before their journey to Sweden, the family had been living illegally in Iran for eight years. They left Afghanistan because of an ongoing war and insecurity, but Mohammed said it is difficult to prove that the family faces a specific enemy if they return.

"If I knew who was the enemy, I would have just avoided them," he said, listing ISIL, the Taliban and suicide bombers as possible dangers.

In the Uzbeki home, Bibihal's daughter-in-law gently readjusted the elderly woman's veil as Mohammed watched over her.

"She still cannot speak properly, she has hallucinations," he said. "She says they are coming to kill us, we should run away."

Mental health support in the UAE

● Estijaba helpline: 8001717
● UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention hotline: 045192519
● UAE Mental health support line: 800 4673 (Hope)
More information at hope.hw.gov.ae

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July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Norway 1 Spain 1
Norway: King (90+4')
Spain: Niguez (47')

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
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COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

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Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Naga

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Starring: Adwa Bader, Yazeed Almajyul, Khalid Bin Shaddad

Rating: 4/5

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DECEMBER 19 (6pm)
Kites v Eagles
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Swiatek v Garcia
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DECEMBER 20 (6pm)
Falcons v Hawks
Djokovic v Zverev
Sabalenka v Rybakina
Entertainment: Wizkid

DECEMBER 21 (6pm)
Falcons v Eagles
Djokovic v Kyrgios
Badosa v Garcia
Entertainment: Ne-Yo

DECEMBER 22 (6pm)
Hawks v Kites
Thiem v Aliassime
Kontaveit v Swiatek
Entertainment: deadmau5

DECEMBER 23 (2pm)
Eagles v Hawks
Kyrgios v Zverev
Garcia v Rybakina
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DECEMBER 23 (6pm)
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Sabalenka v Swiatek
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DECEMBER 24 (6pm)
Finals
Entertainment: Armin Van Buuren

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Rest

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A QUIET PLACE

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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

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