State Sen. Gounardes helps Bay Ridge man reunite with motherPosted: Updated:
A Bay Ridge business owner who had given up hope of ever seeing his mother again had his wish granted thanks in part to state Sen. Andrew Gounardes.
The last time Shamsan Al Lahabi saw his mother who lived in Yemen was six years ago, where there has been an ongoing civil war.
In 2014 he started the visa process, but then hit a roadblock in 2017 when the travel ban was implemented by the Trump administration, preventing people from seven Muslim countries from getting a visa.
Al Lahabi owns a grocery store on Fifth Avenue, right next to Gounardes' office. After seeing how he interacted with constituents and staff, he decided to ask for help.
Two months later, Gounardes secured the waiver for Al Lahabi's mom, a rare feat.
"I don't even know how it happened," says Gounardes. "I mean so few of these waivers get approved nationwide, I think about 5 or 6% get approved across the country."
Mahliah Al Lahabi expressed gratitude for his efforts, and excitement to get to spend the holidays with family.
"Witnessing the war going through all of this hardship for the past years, all of it was worth it when I got to see my son and meet my grandsons for the first time," says Mahliah Al Lahabi.
Brooklyn Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>
- Police say a group of teens is wanted for robbing another teenager in Sheepshead Bay on Dec. 5.Police say a group of teens is wanted for robbing another teenager in Sheepshead Bay on Dec. 5.
- This week's workout comes from Jon at Synergy. He goes over a circuit to work your lower body.This week's workout comes from Jon at Synergy. He goes over a circuit to work your lower body.
- The National Wreaths Across America Day movement aims to cover all Veterans graves with a Christmas wreath.
- Prospect Park was taken over with 5,000 festive runners Saturday for a 5K that raises money to make sure students stay active and healthy.
- The FTC is reportedly considering seeking an injunction against Facebook.The FTC is reportedly considering seeking an injunction against Facebook.
- Red carpet arrivals at The Concert for The Rainforest Fund at the Beacon TheatreThe Rainforest Fund 30th anniversary benefit concert was held Monday at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
- From sparking holiday lights to fun Santa photos, News 12 wants to see your holiday photos!From sparking holiday lights to fun Santa photos, News 12 wants to see your holiday photos!
- December has already brought some snow to the tri-state area. Here's how the snow looked through your lens.
- A new lantern festival has taken over Citi Field, lighting up the sky starting Friday.A new lantern festival has taken over Citi Field, lighting up the sky starting Friday.
- The 87th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was held Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 in New York.