Relatives of drowned Syrian boy land in Canada

December 30, 2015 6:02 am

 

Tima Kurdi is reunited with her family. Photo: CNN

Relatives of a Syrian boy whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish
beach, sparking worldwide concern for the refugee crisis, have landed in
.
Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children arrived
in Canada as refugees, sponsored by Mohammed’s sister Tima Kurdi, who
wiped away tears as she greeted her relatives at Vancouver airport’s
arrival gates.
Speaking through his sister, who translated from
Arabic, Mohammed Kurdi thanked Canadians and the government for making
his dream come true.

Mohammed Kurdi is welcomed to Canada by his sister, Tima. Photo: CNN
Mohammed Kurdi is welcomed to Canada by his sister, Tima. Photo: CNN
“I’m happy! Very happy!” he said in English to a crowd of reporters gathered around the family.
His teenage son Shergo said he was looking forward to going back to school and starting a new life.

The reunion comes at the end of a difficult year for the family.

A Turkish police officer carries the lifeless body of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi. Photo / AP
A Turkish police officer carries the lifeless body of three-year-old refugee Aylan Kurdi. Photo / AP
Tima and Mohammed’s three-year-old nephew, Alan Kurdi,
drowned along with his five-year-old brother and their mother while
crossing the waters between Turkey and Greece in September.
The
boy’s father Abdullah Kurdi said after the tragedy that the family was
trying to get to Canada to join his sister Tima. Abdullah has since
declined to come to Canada. He lives in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Tima
said she wished Abdullah was in Canada. “All of us here wish you were
here with us,” Tima said when asked if she had a message for him.
Mohammed
Kurdi has been in Germany since leaving his family in Turkey seven
months ago to find work. He had yet to meet his youngest child, who was
born in July, but the family reunited in Frankfurt before flying to
Canada.

Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children arrived in Canada as refugee.
Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children arrived in Canada as refugee.
The Kurdis are among 25,000 Syrian refugees the Canadian
government has pledged to welcome by the end of February. Immigration
Minister John McCallum said last week the government will likely not
meet its target of having 10,000 of them on Canadian soil by Jan. 1. The
federal website that updates progress listed 2,413 refugees as having
arrived in Canada by Dec. 26.
Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and
children will all stay with Tima Kurdi and her family for now. The
brother and sister are planning to work together at Tima Kurdi’s new
hair salon in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Kurdi Hair Design.
“Thank
you Canadian people. Thank you Prime Minister Trudeau for opening the
door and showing the world how everyone should welcome refugees and save
lives,” Tima Kurdi said.
She said hopes other refugees remain hopeful.

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