'A new beginning of life': Alan Kurdi's family set to arrive in Vancouver on Monday

Relatives of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed washed up on the shores of a Turkish beach earlier this year, will start a new life in Canada on Monday, when they finally arrive in Vancouver.

See Full Article

As they prepare to start their new lives in this country, they say they hope his death won't be in vain.

Alan Kurdi's aunt, Tima Kurdi, said while the tragedy has been very painful for the entire family, she hopes it serves as a reminder to the world of the plight of refugees fleeing violence.

Tima Kurdi spoke to CTV News Channel on Monday, as she prepared for the arrival of her brother, Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children. She will be sponsoring her brother and his family, who are set to arrive in Vancouver on Monday as refugees.

"Even though the tragedy was very painful for us, it's opened the doors for others -- that's what counts," she said of Alan Kurdi's death. "I hope his death won't be in vain."

The three-year-old boy drowned in September along with his older brother and their mother while attempting to cross the waters between Turkey and Greece. Images of his lifeless body, face-down in the sand, helped show the world the plight of the hundreds of thousands who've fled Syria and Iraq for safety.

Alan Kurdi's father, Abdullah Kurdi, attempted the dangerous water crossing after the Canadian government rejected his brother Mohammed's original refugee application. Canadian officials said the application didn't have the required documentation.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada later asked Tima Kurdi to re-apply for her brother, Mohammed Kurdi, and his family in mid-October.

She said she's overwhelmed at the thought that she will at last be reunited with her brother.

"I'm happy, I'm sad… I'm really speechless. I don't know what else to say," she said. "I'm happy for them; to give them a safe place and a home -- a new beginning of life."

Tima Kurdi said the entire family of seven will join her family of three in their Vancouver home. "We have enough room, and I did my best, me and my husband and my son. We made it nice and comfy," she said.

Her other brother and Alan Kurdi's father, Abdullah Kurdi, declined to come to Canada and now lives in Kurdistan.

Tima Kurdi said after losing his wife and children, Abdullah Kurdi has devoted his life to helping other refugees.

Syrian refugees have been arriving in Canada on a near-weekly basis since the start of December. The Liberals have held to their pledge to take in 25,000 refugees by the end of February, after admitting that they’d likely fall short of a target to settle 10,000 by the end of the year.

Tima Kurdi said she understands the anxiety and worry many of the new arrivals will have, as they face the immense task of starting from scratch in a new country.

However, she said, they should be comforted to know that they've come to a good place.

"Canadian people have big hearts," she said. "They should start a new life, and try to build their life and work hard to start it."

With files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iranian parliament labels entire U.S. military as terrorist

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian media say the parliament has approved a bill that labels all U.S. military forces as terrorist. The legislation is a step further after Iranian lawmakers last week approved a bill labelling U.S. Source
  • Preparations underway for Kim-Putin summit in Russia

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia's president, Russian officials and media reported Tuesday. The Kremlin confirmed earlier this month that Kim Jong Un would meet with President Putin before the end of the month but has not named the place or date, citing security concerns. Source
  • Judge to sentence man who killed daughter, 5, to make estranged wife suffer

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A Newfoundland man who killed his five-year-old daughter in what the Crown said was a calculated plan to inflict suffering on his estranged wife will be sentenced today. A jury convicted Trent Butt of first-degree murder in March in the death of his daughter Quinn. Source
  • New commemorative loonie marking 'progress' for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Royal Canadian Mint is unveiling a new commemorative loonie today meant to mark what it calls a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people in the country. The agency says the new one-dollar coin pays tribute to Parliament's passing of legislation that "initiated the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. Source
  • Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ceremonies and vigils are planned today to honour those killed or injured in last year's deadly van attack in north Toronto. The City of Toronto is holding an event at the Mel Lastman Square Amphitheatre at 1:30 p.m. Source
  • Strong voter turnout expected in Prince Edward Island provincial election

    Canada News CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN -- It's election day in Prince Edward Island and voter turnout is expected to be strong. More than 36 per cent of eligible voters have already cast their ballots in the advance polls, in a province that traditionally sees voter turnout at more than 80 per cent. Source
  • 'New IRA' admits killing Northern Ireland journalist

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- An Irish Republican Army splinter group has admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. In a statement issued Tuesday to the Irish News, the New IRA offered "full and sincere" apologies to McKee's family and friends. Source
  • Woman arrested in slaying of Northern Ireland journalist: police

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- The Northern Ireland Police Service said Tuesday they have arrested a woman under the Terrorism Act in connection with the slaying of journalist Lyra McKee. The arrest of the 57-year-old under the Terrorism Act came as an Irish Republican Army splinter group admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed journalist McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. Source
  • Woman arrested in killing of Northern Ireland reporter

    World News CBC News
    The Northern Ireland Police Service says they have arrested a woman under the Terrorism Act in the slaying of journalist Lyra McKee. The 57-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday under the terrorism act. An Irish Republican Army splinter group earlier admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. Source
  • P.E.I. heads to the polls today — and it could make history

    Canada News CBC News
    Islanders are voting today in an election campaign unlike any other in P.E.I.'s history. It marks the first three-way race in a province long beholden to a two-party system, and has the Green Party hoping to make an unprecedented breakthrough. Source