Refugee Finds New Home After 7 Months in Airport

Hassan Al Kontar arrived in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2018 9:45 AM CST
Refugee Finds New Home After 7 Months in Airport
Hassan Al Kontar, left, and Laurie Cooper share a light moment after Al Kontar arrived in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday.   (Ben Nelms/The Canadian Press via AP)

For seven months, Hassan Al Kontar documented his life inside Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where the Syrian refugee was held in limbo after arriving on March 7. Finally, Al Kontar and his 20,000 Twitter followers will get a change of scenery. "For today, I am in Taiwan International Airport. For tomorrow, I will be reaching my final destination: Vancouver, Canada," the 37-year-old says in a video shared Monday. Lawyer Andrew Brouwer confirms the news to NBC News, explaining Al Kontar arrived around midnight Monday in the Great White North, where he's been granted asylum and permanent residency.

The CBC shares a heartwarming video of his arrival. It was a "hard, long journey," Al Kontar says in his own video. Denied entry to Malaysia, he'd refused to return to Syria for fear he'd be arrested for refusing to join the military. Moved to a detention center after his arrest last month in a "forbidden" airport zone, Al Kontar kept an eye on Canada, which approved an expedited asylum application. "We are completely relieved by the outcome," says Brouwer. Requesting prayers for people "in refugee camps and detention camps all over the world," Al Kontar promises to keep followers updated on his new life. (More Syrian refugees stories.)

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