Khaled Mohamed Younes of Maumee, left, accepts his new documentation to go along with his certificate of citizenship at the naturalization ceremony on Tuesday.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
He has been a man without a country all his life.
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.
“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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6154.