Stranded for seven months at the Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia, a Syrian refugee was finally granted entry into Canada, The BBC reported on November 29.
According to CNN, two organizations were behind this development. The British Columbia Muslim Association and Canada Caring Society have lobbied for months and eventually managed to sponsor his release.
Hassan al-Kontar, 37, was left stateless after the Syrian regime refused to renew his passport for not fighting with regime forces in the country’s civil war.
He was also denied entry to Malaysia due to visa issues.
A video of his ordeal has gone viral on the Internet and has won 18,000,000 supporters amid calls for the Canadian authorities to grant him asylum.
The Canadian government responded by allowing the Syrian refugee entry into the country and giving him a home, job and permanent residency.
Hassan al Kontar spent the past eight months stranded at an airport in Malaysia. He has finally found a home in Canada.
Posted by TRT World on Wednesday, 28 November 2018
“They came to me on Sunday and said ‘you’re going to Canada.’ I did not believe them until they showed me the ticket,” Al-Kontar told CBC News after touching down in Vancouver airport.
It Was a Hard Time
During his 7-month-stay in the transit area of the Malaysian airport, Hassan created a fan base on Twitter, documenting his exhausting time at the airport. He shared short videos and pictures, where he slept, how he ate, and even where he “exercised”.
Sometimes it was humor, other times it was despair that made him share his feelings with those strangers who just cared for him as a fellow human.
Winter is coming & it looks like winter will be here before I leave this airport, Maesters says it will be the hardest in 1000 years so I need to make myself ready.
Do you know if they require visa for north of the wall ??😏😏#syrian_stuck_at_airport #mystory_hassan pic.twitter.com/7b8fnD62dV
— Hassan Al Kontar (@Kontar81) August 12, 2018
“The last 10 months, it was very hard. I could not do it without the support and prayers from all of you. Could not do it without the help of my family, my Canadian friend’s family, and my lawyer. Thank you all. I love you all. I will keep you updated,” Hassan posted upon landing in Vancouver, Canada.
“Let’s keep the prayers for those who still need it the most, in refugee camps and detention camps all over the world, I hope they will be safe and legal as soon as possible, too.”