'A new beginning of life': Alan Kurdi's family arrives in Vancouver

Relatives of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed washed up on the shores of a Turkish beach earlier this year, drawing attention to a growing refugee crisis, arrived in Canada on Monday.

See Full Article

Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children touched down in Vancouver shortly before noon, where they are being greeted by his sister, Tima Kurdi, a Canadian who is sponsoring the family.

Also on hand at the airport are children holding signs that said “Welcome to Canada.”

Tima Kurdi told CTV News Channel Monday morning that while the tragedy involving her nephew 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.

"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

  • 100 people feared buried in China landslide

    World News CBC News
    A county government in southwestern China says around 100 people from 40 homes are feared buried by a landslide that crashed into their homes. The government of Mao county in Sichuan province says the landslide from a mountain fell onto the village of Xinmo at about 6 a.m. Source
  • Wainwright-based military member charged with child porn offences

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Wainwright-based soldier is charged with child pornography related offences after a joint investigation by the province’s Internet Child Exploitation unit and the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. It’s alleged the man attempted to arrange to meet up with a Texas girl for sex, says a Friday news release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams. Source
  • Syrian doctor barred from U.S. under travel ban resettles in Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    A respected Syrian doctor blocked from re-entering the United States to continue his Ivy League education after U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban has found a new home in Canada. Khaled Almilaji arrived in Toronto last Friday and was reunited with his wife, Jehan Mouhsen. Source
  • Michigan terror attack planned?

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Montreal man accused of trying to kill an airport cop in the U.S. did so on a highly symbolic day for Muslims, TVA reports. The network reports that Wednesday — the day Amor Ftouhi allegedly almost killed the officer at an airport in Flint, Michigan — was Laylat Al-Qadr or “night of fate. Source
  • Hockey hothead, 18, jailed for punching ref

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Cole Trevor Crane’s hockey horizons have been put on ice. The Dave Schultz wannabe has been jailed for 30 days after pleading guilty to pummeling a referee during a PEI midget AA hockey game on March 26. Source
  • Heavy rains prompt evacuations in Ontario town

    Canada News CTV News
    WATERLOO, Ont. - Heavy rain in the Waterloo, Ont., area has prompted some evacuations and at least one community has declared a state of emergency. The town of Minto, northwest of Kitchener, declared an emergency Friday morning and moved up to 30 families from their homes and closed some roads and streets in the community. Source
  • U.S. senators ask military to clarify role in Yemen torture

    World News CBC News
    Pressure mounted on the U.S. Defence Department Friday after multiple senators called for investigations into reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. Source
  • Mulcair unimpressed by Canadian sniper's record kill

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    NDP leader Tom Mulcair is targeting the Liberals after it emerged a Canadian sniper smashed the world record for the longest confirmed kill. The gunman took an ISIS fighter off the board in northern Iraq with a shot that travelled more than 3.5 kilometres to hit its target — more than a kilometre better than the previous top shot. Source
  • Black off-duty St. Louis police officer shot by white officer

    World News CTV News
    St. Louis police say a black off-duty officer who heard a commotion near his home and tried to help fellow officers arrest three black suspects has been shot by a white officer who did not recognize him. Source
  • Footing the bill: Yukon willing to swap free trip for human toes

    Canada News CTV News
    Tourism Yukon has started a strange (but they insist, very real) search for donated human toes. The macabre contest comes after a brown, mummified toe served in a famous cocktail in Dawson City went missing. Source