Rahaf al-Qunun lands in Toronto after long journey to safety

The Saudi girl who barricaded herself in a Thai resort room in a determined try to flee abuse landed in Canada on Saturday, capping a tumultuous and unsure adventure in opposition to protection.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived in Toronto, the rustic’s greatest town, tweeting “OMG … I’m in Canada everybody” and posting a video of her airplane touching down at Pearson World airport.

As she entered the arrivals house, she was once accompanied by means of Canada’s minister of overseas affairs, Chrystia Freeland, who has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s jailing of feminine dissidents.

“That is Rahaf al-Qunun, an excessively courageous new Canadian,” Freeland advised newshounds, keeping onto al-Qunun, who was once dressed in a ‘Canada’ sweatshirt.

The 18-year-old’s struggle in opposition to deportation from Thailand as she attempted to say asylum captivated an international target audience thru her Twitter account, which now has just about 150,000 fans.

Various international locations had expressed hobby in resettling al-Qunun, together with Australia, which was once her first selection – but it surely was once Canada that acted briefly.

“This is one thing that we’re happy to do as a result of Canada is a rustic that understands how vital it’s to get up for human rights, to get up for ladies’s rights world wide,” the top minister, Justin Trudeau, advised newshounds on Friday.

The pinnacle of Canada’s United Countries refugee workplace, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, tweeted his due to the rustic for “having acted impulsively in offering a long-term answer”.

“Ladies refugees in danger on account of their gender are prioritised for resettlement & we all know they may be able to rely on Canada,” he wrote.

Trudeau downplayed the symbolism of Canada’s be offering to resettle the younger ladies; Canada and Saudi Arabia had been at odds during the last yr over the conservative kingdom’s human rights file. Ultimate summer time, a tweet in Arabic, despatched by means of International Affairs Canada, spark off a diplomatic row between the 2 countries, through which Canadian diplomats have been expelled from the dominion, Saudi scholars in Canada have been recalled and the Saudi executive bought a large number of Canadian equities and forex holdings.


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