An Ennis Direct Provision resident has spoken at his delight at the granting of his international protection application.

In May, The Clare Echo detailed how Sayed Farid Sanai was left waiting to hold an interview so that he can receive international protection which will then allow his family to move to Ireland within six to nine months.

Ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has him fearing everyday for the safety of his wife and child who he has not seen in person since 2019 when he was forced to flee the country after attempts on his life by the Taliban.

After Farid’s story appeared in The Clare Echo, he was very pleased to hear from the Department of Justice within less than a week to learn that his application would be processed.

Fifth and sixth class pupils of Scoil Chríost Rí in Cloughleigh were struck by his story. Supervised by their teacher Elaine Kenny, they put together two letters, one of which was to Farid as they welcomed him to Ireland and sympathised with him over his constant fear for his family’s safety.

A letter was also sent to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin (FF) by the students and highlighted their concerns and fears for Farid and his family. They questioned why delays in protection applications were taking so long, they put it to the Taoiseach that family is everything and that this man needed help fast.

On Friday, Farid paid a visit to the school and paid tribute to the students for their solidarity. While there, he discussed his life in Afghanistan, his studies in Iran and being born into war. The pupils also presented Farid with a small green Ireland rugby jersey kit for his little boy for when he finally makes it to Ireland.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Farid outlined that his motivation for life has returned since the application for protection was granted and that he is now optimistic for his future, “Ireland is a good country with good people”. He described friends of his in the country such as Patrick and Jackie in Portarlington as his Irish siblings.

When he was contacted by the Cloughleigh students, “it was like getting an award,” the famous news anchor from Afghanistan admitted. “When I received the letter I became very happy, it showed me that you can still find kind people in the world and people who will stand with you even though they do not know you”. He said he showed the letter to each resident at the Clare Lodge after he first read it. He believed the letter from the children to the Taoiseach helped in accelerating the granting of his application.

Due to the current conflict in Afghanistan, Farid has asked the Department to speed up his family’s reunification. Ordinarily, they would be allowed to move to Ireland within the next six to nine months however this is likely to be delayed due to COVID-19.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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