A Syrian man who used to be stranded in an airport for greater than six months has arrived in Canada after being granted asylum.
Hassan al-Kontar used to be welcomed by means of his supporters upon arrival in Vancouver overdue on Monday local time, telling probably the most ladies who had fought to get him to Canada, “When I was thinking of hope, her face was coming to my mind.”
“I did not believe it until they showed me the ticket,” he informed Canada’s CBC News.
He were caught within the transit zone of Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur world airport since March 7. Two months in the past Malaysian government positioned him in a detention middle.
Kontar’s scenario got here to world consideration when he started tweeting about what his day by day lifestyles used to be like, sharing how and the place he slept, ate, and washed.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News from the airport in May, Kontar used to be apprehensive for his long term. “I [have] become less hopeful,” he stated, regardless of 1000’s following his each transfer and campaigning for his go out. “I have no one.”
The 37-year-old’s fans final heard from him in the beginning of October, however the day before today he posted for the first time in 8 weeks, from an airport in Taiwan.
Kontar, carrying a thick beard and lengthy hair, started the video by means of apologizing for his look, which he likened to one thing “from the Stone or Middle Ages.”
“For now it’s not important where I have been, or what was going on with me,” he says within the video, revealing he’s touring to Vancouver. “The past is no longer with us. What is important is today, and tomorrow, the present and the future.”
Kontar stated the previous few months were “very hard” and thanked everybody who had supported his adventure, including his circle of relatives, his charitable sponsors in Canada, and the attorneys fighting to get him out of the airport. “I could not do it without the support and prayers from all of you.”
His video has already been watched greater than 160,000 instances.
Kontar went on to invite folks to consider all the ones “who need it the most, in refugee camps and detention camps, all over the world. I hope they will be safe and legal soon too.”
He ended by means of pronouncing: “I love you all.”
Kontar’s adventure in Canada used to be subsidized by means of the Canada Caring Society, whose on-line petition reached 62,000 signatures, and the British Columbia Muslim Association.
“Until I give him a big hug at the airport it’s not really real,” Laurie Cooper, a volunteer with the Canada Caring Society, informed the BBC previous to his arrival. “It’s been a long, long journey with lots of ups and downs.”
Prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil struggle, now in its 8th year, Kontar were running within the United Arab Emirates. However, when his visa ran out in 2011 he did not need to go back home — fearing that he could be arrested by means of the government for failing to hold out his army provider.
He stayed illegally within the UAE till 2016 when he used to be arrested. Authorities deported him to Malaysia, which is among the best international locations on the earth that does not require a visa forward of arrival. Once in Malaysia, he used to be not able to go away the airport, falling into an unsure grey zone the place airways refused to permit him to board a flight out.