Saudi teen flee­ing her fam­ily ar­rives in Canada

Mid Day - - World -

TORONTO: Tired but smil­ing, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if de­ported back home ar­rived on Sat­ur­day in Canada, which of­fered her asy­lum in a case that at­tracted global at­ten­tion after she mounted a so­cial me­dia cam­paign.

“This is Ra­haf Alqu­nun, a very brave new Cana­dian,” For­eign Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land said arm-in-arm with the Saudi woman in Toronto’s air­port. Ra­haf Mo­hammed Alqu­nun smiled broadly as she ex­ited an air­port ar­rival door sport­ing a Canada zip­per hoodie and a UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees hat, cap­ping a dra­matic week that saw her flee her fam­ily while vis­it­ing Kuwait and be­fore fly­ing to Bangkok. Once there, she bar­ri­caded her­self in an air­port ho­tel to avoid de­por­ta­tion and tweeted about her sit­u­a­tion. On Fri­day, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau an­nounced that Canada would ac­cept Alqu­nun as a refugee.

Alqu­nun flew to Toronto via Seoul, South Ko­rea, ac­cord­ing to Thai im­mi­gra­tion Po­lice Chief Su­rachate Hak­parn. Alqu­nun tweeted two pic­tures from her plane seat, one with what ap­pears to be a glass of wine and her pass­port and an­other hold­ing her pass­port while on the plane with the hash­tag “I did it” and the emo­jis show­ing a plane, hearts and a wine glass.

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