A Syrian Man Has Been Trapped in a Malaysian Airport for Over a Month

Apr 13, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A man from Syria has been stranded inside Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) in Malaysia for more than a month, and he still has nowhere to go. He cannot leave the airport or go to a different country due to travel restrictions place on Syrian citizens.

The man, Hassan al-Kontar, left Syria for a job in the United Arab Emirates in 2006. He lost his UAE work permit in 2016 and was deported. He was sent to a holding area in Malaysia in January 2017.

Upon arrival in Malaysia, one of the few countries that gives visas to Syrian citizens, Kontar was given a three-month tourist visa. During that time, he worked to save money to fly to Ecuador, a country where he wouldn’t need a visa to stay. However, when he tried to board his Turkish Airways flight to Ecuador, he found his ticket had been canceled and he was rejected for boarding.

Kontar was then charged a fine for “overstaying” and has been “blacklisted” in Malaysia, so he is not allowed to leave the airport or enter the country again, the BBC reports.

He also tried entering Cambodia, where Syrians are usually granted a visa, but was denied entrance upon arrival to the country. His passport was confiscated, and officials told him they could reject Syrian citizens who don’t meet government “requirements.”

Kontar was forced to return to Malaysia, where he has been stranded in the airport (KUL) since March 7. He began posting videos about his situation from the airport terminal.


Kontar told the BBC that airport customer service officials and representatives from the UN have reached out to him. “The authorities here are interviewing me, and I have filled out some reports,” he said. “I don’t know what to do. I have no-one to advise me on where I can go. I really need help because I believe the worst is yet to come.”

Kontar said that he hasn’t had a proper shower and has run out of clean clothes.

In a statement to the BBC, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the organization was aware of Kontar’s situation and it has “reached out to the individual and the authorities.”

Featured image by Hassan Al Kontar via Twitter.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.