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Published: Tuesday, 9/17/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

NATURALIZATION

Maumee man has a country at long last

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Khaled Mohamed Younes of Maumee, left, accepts his new documentation to go along with his certificate of citizenship at the naturalization ceremony on Tuesday. Khaled Mohamed Younes of Maumee, left, accepts his new documentation to go along with his certificate of citizenship at the naturalization ceremony on Tuesday.
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He has been a man without a country all his life.

The new Americans and their native countries are:
  • Algeria: Karim Magri
  • Bangladesh: Musarrat Jehan
  • India: Amanjot Kaur Gill
  • Jordan: Fayez Mahmoud Salameh
  • Lebanon: Adam Abbas Akl, Dalal Tanios Elhage, Souad Hamid Rahal
  • Malaysia: Tiang Ang Rinehart
  • Mexico: Mauricio Tirado Pena, Franciso Javier Gonzalez Monroy, Carla Valeria Triana
  • Nicaragua: Meyling Ruiz
  • Nigeria: Babatunde Ayokunle Oriowo
  • Pakistan: Rabia Zubair
  • People’s Republic of China: Hexu Guo, Yun Yu Li
  • Philippines: Fely Joy Gabi Lee, Joselyn Platero Varney
  • Ukraine: Svetlana Beltyukova
  • United Arab Emirates: Khaled Mohamed Younes
  • United Kingdom: Sarah Louise Gerwin
  • Venezuela: Veronica Eugenia Lombardino
  • Vietnam: Kye Duong Henley
  • Zimbabwe: Isheanesu Mazani

That all changed when Khaled Mohamed Younes, 23, was welcomed as a new American citizen during a naturalization ceremony held Tuesday at the University of Toledo’s College of Law. Mr. Younes was one of 24 people who took the oath of citizenship during the public ceremony.

Mr. Younes had barely finished walking to the front of the auditorium where he was handed his citizenship certificate when he was embraced and repeatedly kissed by his overjoyed father, Mohamed Younes.

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“I’m so happy he has become a citizen,” his 65-year-old father said. “He has a country. He’s found a home.”

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Goulding, who presided over the ceremony, told the crowd of 200 people at the event that many of the new citizens had faced great hardships, took terrible risks, and overcame tremendous hurdles for the opportunity to become U.S. citizens.

It’s an honor too many native-born Americans take for granted, he said.

In the Younes family’s case, their lives have been spent as refugees — people without a country to call their own. Khaled Mohamed Younes said his family was originally from Pakistan. But because of war and political unrest, they have spent their lives as refugees in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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