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Aylan Kurdi: Relatives of tragic Syrian refugee arrive in Canada

By John Brennan

Published 29/12/2015

Tima Kurdi, left, who lives in the Vancouver area, lifts up her 5-month-old nephew Sherwan Kurdi after her brother Mohammad Kurdi and his family, who escaped conflict in Syria (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tima Kurdi, left, who lives in the Vancouver area, lifts up her 5-month-old nephew Sherwan Kurdi after her brother Mohammad Kurdi and his family, who escaped conflict in Syria (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tima Kurdi, left, who lives in the Vancouver area, visits with her 5-month-old nephew Sherwan Kurdi after her brother Mohammad Kurdi and his family, who escaped conflict in Syria, arrived at Vancouver International Airport, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Richmond, British Columbia. Mohammad Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Alan 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) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tima Kurdi, left, who lives in the Vancouver area, embraces her brother Mohammad Kurdi and his 5-month-old son, Sherwan Kurdi, after her brother and his family, who escaped conflict in Syria, arrived at Vancouver International Airport, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Richmond, British Columbia. Mohammad Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Alan 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) MANDATORY CREDIT
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, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Richmond, British Columbia. Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Alan 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) MANDATORY CREDIT
A television interview with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plays on a screen as people wait to welcome Syrian refugees Mohammad Kurdi and his family at Vancouver International Airport, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Richmond, British Columbia. Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Alan 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) MANDATORY CREDIT
Tima Kurdi, third from left, who lives in the Vancouver area, stands with her brother Mohammad Kurdi, top right, and his family, who escaped conflict in Syria, upon arrival at Vancouver International Airport, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Richmond, British Columbia. Mohammad Kurdi's three-year-old nephew, Alan 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) MANDATORY CREDIT

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

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.

Read more

Father of drowned Syrian boy Alan Kurdi issues refugee plea

Aylan Kurdi's father brings bodies of wife and children home for burial  

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.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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