Saudi Teen Who Fled Her Family Welcomed As “Dauntless Canadian” In Toronto – NDTV News

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada.


An 18-year-outdated Saudi girl who fled her household this week asserting she feared for her life arrived in Toronto’s global airport on Saturday after Canada granted her asylum, where International Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed her as a courageous recent Canadian.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun grabbed global consideration this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport resort room to face up to being sent residence to her household, which denies any abuse. Qunun refused to meet her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok to are trying interact her abet to Saudi Arabia.

Qunun arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning, smiling and wearing a hoodie emblazoned with the observe Canada in crimson, and a blue UNHCR cap.

Freeland, who got Qunun at the airport, told newshounds that Qunun is “a truly courageous recent Canadian.”

“Rahaf wished Canadians to undercover agent that she has arrived at her recent residence,” Freeland told newshounds. “Nonetheless she had a truly prolonged and insensible hump and so would pick no longer to interact questions recently. And he or she is now going to circulation to her recent residence.”

Qunun waved to newshounds as she walked out into the global arrivals characteristic but did no longer tell to the media. After a transient appearance, she used to be taken abet into the airport terminal.

Qunun, who had within the muse intended to glance asylum in Australia, chose Canada as an different because Australia took too prolonged assessing whether or no longer to grant her asylum.

“(Australia) takes too prolonged. That’s why I went to Canada,” she told Reuters in a without delay message earlier than boarding her flight to Toronto. Qunun took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday after which a connecting flight to Toronto.

Her case has drawn global consideration to Saudi Arabia’s strict social rules, including a requirement that females own the permission of a male “guardian” to hump, which rights groups recount can trap females and ladies as prisoners of abusive families.

Qunun arrived in Bangkok every week ago and used to be within the muse denied entry. Nonetheless she quickly started posting messages on Twitter from the transit characteristic of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport asserting she had “escaped Kuwait” and her life would be at risk if compelled to attain abet to Saudi Arabia.

Inside hours, a campaign sprang up dubbed #SaveRahaf, unfold on Twitter by a loose community of activists.

Following a forty eight-hour stand-off at Bangkok airport, about a of it barricaded in a transit lounge resort room, she used to be allowed to enter the country and has been processed as a refugee by the United Countries High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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