Civic, General

104 year-old to become Britain’s oldest new citizen

Taufeek Khanjar, 104, during his citizenship ceremony. Download this photo here.

Detail:

Surrey County Council hosted a citizenship ceremony for 104 year-old Taufeek Khanjar, who is believed to be the oldest person to become a new British citizen.

Mr Khanjar is originally from Iraq and worked as a jewellery maker in Baghdad. He came to the UK six years ago to live with his daughter Nada Dabis, 59, in South Cheam, Surrey, where he enjoys walking, feeding the birds, playing cards and listening to music. He is a widower with four sons and two daughters.

During the ceremony, on Wednesday, 1 February, at Surrey County Council’s headquarters in Kingston-upon-Thames, Mr Khanjar took an oath to the Queen, pledging that he will be a faithful citizen and obey the laws of the country.

Quotes:

Mr Khanjar said he was “very happy” to become a British citizen and explained the secret to a long and healthy life was to “never get stressed and be relaxed”.

He added: “I never lose my temper and whatever happens I take it in my own stride. If the world capsized I still wouldn’t strain myself. I keep busy by watching television, playing cards, reading and listening to music. I also like to repair watches and other broken items.”

Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Mr Khanjar was immensely proud to become a British citizen. Everyone was delighted to play a part in making his dream come true.”

Further information:

Every person aged over 18 who applies for citizenship, after approval by the Home Office, is required to attend a citizenship ceremony. It is the final step to becoming a British citizen.

Mr Khanjar’s ceremony was conducted by Superintendent Registrar Stephanie Monk MBE. It was attended by Surrey Deputy Lieutenant Heather Hawker MBE.

ENDS

For further information, contact Surrey County Council senior media relations officer James Oxley at james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk

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