'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

  • Priebus takes his turn on the Trump administration hot seat

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus may have little left of his job but his title. In the swirl of Shakespearean intrigue that surrounds Donald Trump's White House, Priebus' fortunes have long been a source of speculation, given his limited role, colorful band of rivals and the president's public slights. Source
  • Ottawa man arrested in two homicide cases

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting deaths of two men on Monday. Alam Gabriel Buoc have been the subject of a nationwide warrant until his arrest on Thursday night. Source
  • Texas executes TaiChin Preyor for killing woman in 2004 after break-in: “That’s it...'

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas prisoner was executed Thursday evening for killing a San Antonio woman after breaking into her apartment more than 13 years ago. TaiChin Preyor, 46, was put to death after his attorneys failed to convince courts that he had deficient legal help during earlier stages of his appeals and that he deserved a reprieve so his case could be reviewed more fairly. Source
  • Spanish train crash leaves at least 50 injured in Barcelona [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — Some 50 people received medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early Friday, Catalan government officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • Dozens injured in train station accident in Barcelona

    World News CTV News
    BARCELONA, Spain -- Some 50 people needed medical treatment after a Spanish commuter train crashed into the buffers in a station in northeastern Barcelona early Friday, Catalan government officials said. Regional health chief Antoni Comi said 54 people in all received medical treatment, with 51 taken to city hospitals. Source
  • Russia retaliates against sanctions, ordering U.S. to cut diplomatic staff to 455 from 1,100

    World News CBC News
    Russia told the United States on Friday that some of its diplomats had to leave the country in just over a month and said it was seizing some U.S. diplomatic property as retaliation for what it said were proposed illegal U.S. Source
  • Russia orders cut in U.S. diplomats in reaction to sanctions

    World News CTV News
    In this Monday, July 17, 2017 file photo, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak arrives at the State Department in Washington to meet with Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon. T(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) Source
  • GOP dealt stiff blow in Senate's bid to repeal 'Obamacare'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Dealing a serious blow to U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda, the Senate early Friday rejected a measure to repeal parts of former President Barack Obama's health care law after a night of high suspense in the U.S. Source
  • Jeff Sessions plans to stay, despite criticism from Trump over recusal

    World News CBC News
    His loyalty to the boss severely tested but seemingly intact, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will stay in the job for as long as President Donald Trump wants him to serve. Sessions told The Associated Press during a visit to El Salvador that he and Trump have a "harmony of values and beliefs" and he intends to stay and fight for the president's agenda "as long as he sees that as appropriate. Source
  • Scaramucci exposes simmering tensions in vulgar tirade on chief of staff

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smouldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of staff to deny he's a "leaker" and exposing West Wing backstabbing in language more suitable to a mobster movie than a seat of presidential stability. Source