The family of a Syrian refugee who was killed in the are being assisted by the Home Office in making arrangements to travel to the UK for his funeral.

, 23, was the first victim of the horrific blaze to be formally identified by police.

More than 92,000 people have calling for his parents to be granted visas for the UK so they can attend his funeral.

“We made contact with Mr Alhajali’s family yesterday and assisted them in making arrangements for their travel to the UK in these terribly sad circumstances,” a Home Office spokesman said on Saturday. 

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The petition was set up by family friend Mirna Suleiman, 26, who had been ringing around numerous hospitals, rest centres and the casualty helpline for news of his fate before discovering he had not made it out alive.

She chose to launch the campaign because as someone with Syrian family herself, she knows how difficult it is to obtain a visa for visits.

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The Syria Solidarity Campaign : “We’re very pleased to announce that the family of Mohammad Alhajali received visas to come to the UK for Mohammad’s funeral.

“It’s not the kind of reunion anyone would have wanted, but we know it will be comforting for the family as they grieve for the loss of Mohammad together.”

Mr Alhajali’s family said in a statement: “Mohammad was a very amazing and kind person. He gave love to everyone. He came to the UK because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family.

“Our whole family will miss Mohammad dearly and he will never be forgotten.

“To God we belong and to him we return.”

Describing his friend as “kind, charitable and full of passion for his family”, Abdulaziz Almashi, co-founder of the Syria Solidarity Campaign, said: “He survived Assad, he survived the war, only to be killed in a tower block in London.”

In Pictures: Grenfell Tower after the fire In Pictures: Grenfell Tower after the fire

Mr Alhajali’s older brother Omar – who was with him in the flat – survived the fire after they were separated on the way out.

The civil engineering student perished as he was besieged by billowing smoke after he tried to follow Omar, 25, down the stairs of the burning north Kensington building.

In a final text to his older brother after the two were separated, he wrote: “The smoke is getting in, the smoke is getting in, we are going to die, we are going to die.”

, Omar said: “I called him, I said where are you, he said: ‘I’m in the flat.’

“I said why didn’t you come, they brought us outside, I thought you were with us, he said: ‘No one brought me outside.'”

Breaking into tears, he added: “He said: ‘Why you left me?'”

Mohammad Alhajali’s family described him as ‘a very amazing and kind person’ (Metropolitan Police)

The brothers came to Britain to seek a “better life” after escaping from their home city of Daraa, the birthplace of the Syrian revolution. They were granted asylum in the UK. 

“We were doing well, we were settling down in the UK, but then suddenly, everything just collapsed,” Omar said. “I don’t think we can cope as we did before.

“My mum has cried lots of tears when she heard. She said: ‘I’ve been waiting to see him for four years and then he died. At least I can see his grave, his body before they bury him. I want to kiss him, I want to see everything that belongs to Mohammad.’”

The percentage of rejected visa applications for visits from Syria has soared after the country’s devastating civil war began in 2011.

But the Home Office has established processes which allow it to consider visa applications outside the Immigration Rules on compassionate grounds.


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