Alan Kurdi's aunt, uncle begin work at B.C. hair salon

Days after arriving in Canada and reuniting with his younger sister, Mohammed Kurdi is back to work.

Kurdi, whose nephew Alan captured the world's attention when his body washed ashore in Turkey, spent almost three decades as a barber before war broke out in Syria.

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Now, in a small salon in Port Coquitlam, B.C., he's returning to his craft.

Kurdi's sister, Tima Kurdi, bought the salon earlier this year, but she says she decided not to open "Kurdi Hair Designs" until her brother could join her in Canada.

"I said: 'I'm going to wait for my brother because he's going to join me working here,'" she told CTV Vancouver.

The salon remained closed as Tima Kurdi organized for her brother, his wife and five children to travel to Canada. She privately sponsored all seven family members, and readied rooms for them in her own home.

On Dec. 28, she finally welcomed them to Vancouver.

"I saw my family together again," Mohammed Kurdi told CTV Vancouver in Arabic. "It's a very beautiful feeling."

Since arriving, the newcomers say they are adjusting to their new country and the chilly winter temperatures, and enjoying the luxury of having hot water for warm showers.

Tima Kurdi says her brother is already offering his expert advice on how to expand the family business.

"He owned his own barber shop in Damascus for the last 15 years or more," she said. "So it's almost like it's run in the family."

A third Kurdi sibling, Alan's father Abdullah, did not to join his relatives in Canada. According to his sister, Abdullah wishes to remain in the Middle East and work to help other refugees.

Tima Kurdi herself has become a prominent advocate for other Syrians fleeing war.

From her salon in British Columbia, she said she hopes the new year will bring an end to the violence.

"We hope in 2016 (there will be) peace to the world," she said.

With files from CTV Vancouver


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