Saturday 21 January 2017

Surviving relatives of tragic Aylan Kurdi arrive in Canada to make new life

John Brennan

Published 29/12/2015 | 17:46

Shergo Kurdi, second from left, hugs his aunt, Tima Kurdi who lives in the Vancouver area, as his sisters Ranim Kurdi, front right, and Haveen Kurdi run to meet her after their family, who escaped conflict in Syria, arrived arrived at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia. Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Aylan Kurdi, drowned along with his five-year-old brother and their mother while crossing the waters between Turkey and Greece in September. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Shergo Kurdi, second from left, hugs his aunt, Tima Kurdi who lives in the Vancouver area, as his sisters Ranim Kurdi, front right, and Haveen Kurdi run to meet her after their family, who escaped conflict in Syria, arrived arrived at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia. Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Aylan Kurdi, drowned along with his five-year-old brother and their mother while crossing the waters between Turkey and Greece in September. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Tima Kurdi (middle), holds her nephew Sherwan Kurdi as she welcomes her brother Mohammed Kurdi (not shown), and his family at Vancouver International airport in Vancouver. The Kurdis' brother, Abdullah and his family tried to make the crossing from Turkey to Greece on an overcrowded boat. It capsized, and his wife and children drowned. The horrific image of three-year-old Alan's death became an iconic symbol of the plight of Syrian refugees and a major issue in the Canadian federal election. Reuters/Jimmy Jeong
Tima Kurdi (left), embraces her nephew Rezan Kurdi, 8, as her brother Mohammed Kurdi (not shown) arrives with his family at Vancouver International airport in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Kurdis' brother, Abdullah and his family, tried to make the crossing from Turkey to Greece on an overcrowded boat. It capsized, and his wife and children drowned. The horrific image of three-year-old Aylan's death became an iconic symbol of the plight of Syrian refugees and a major issue in the Canadian federal election. Reuters/Jimmy Jeong

When Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body was photographed washed up on a Turkish beach – it sparked global concern over the Syrian refugee crisis.

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The tragic toddlers' surviving relatives have now arrived in Canada, among the 25,000 Syrians that the country is set to take in.

Mohammed Kurdi, his wife and their five children arrived in Canada as refugees yesterday, having been sponsored by Mohammed's sister Tima Kurdi.

She was visibly overcome with emotion as she welcomed her family to Vancouver.

Tine and Mohammed’s three-year-old nephew Aylan Kurdi, and his five year old brother and his mother, drowned in September while crossing the waters between Turkey and Greece.

After the tragedy the boy’s father Abdullah Kurdi said that the family had been trying to get to Canada to join his sister Tima.

He has opted instead to stay in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

His sister Tima spoke of her desire to see her brother join them in Canada saying, "All of us here wish you were here with us."

Mohamed Kurdi said: “I’m happy. Very happy,” before he spoke with his sister acting as a translator.

Mr Kurdi thanked the Canadian people and the Canadian government for making his dream come true.

His teenage son Shergo said he was looking forward to going back to school and starting a new life.

The Canadian government previously stated that it aims to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to the country by the end of February.

As of St Stephen’s day the federal website said 2,413 refugees had arrived in Canada.

"Thank you Canadian people. Thank you Prime Minister Trudeau for opening the door and showing the world how everyone should welcome refugees and save lives," Tima Kurdi said

Mohammad and his family will stay with his sister for the time being.

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