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Aunt of drowned Syrian boys says she hopes to bring brother Abdullah to Canada

Posted by Oped 749 days ago Toronto Star| aunt drowned syrian boys hopes bring brother abdullah canada All
http://www.thestar.com — COQUITLAM, B.C. — The aunt of the two Syrian boys who drowned along with their mother in a desperate attempt to reach Europe said she wished she had been at their funeral in war-torn Syria. Speaking outside her home Friday, Fatima Kurdi said her brother and the boys’ father, Abdullah, spoke of how he never wants to leave the side of 3-year-old Alan and 5-year-old Ghalib in the town of Kobani. “It was very hard for him. I can’t even imagine,” she said, fighting back tears. “I wish I was there.”She said due to the war, it was impossible for her entire family to gather for the burial. She still has some relatives in Damascus, as well as in Turkey. Kurdi said she blames herself for what happened to her nephews. “I sent (Abdullah) the money to the pay the smuggler,” she said, adding her brother said the family intended to head for Sweden. She said she hopes to still bring Abdullah to Canada one day. It was revealed this week that she had first applied to sponsor her eldest brother, Mohammed, and his family, to no avail. The plan was to sponsor Abdullah’s family after Mohammed’s was approved. But Abdullah’s desire to come to Canada has been erased by the death of his children. “He said I’m not going anywhere,” Kurdi told reporters. “But one day, he might change his mind...One day I will bring him here. He cannot be alone.”She emphasized that she does not blame the Canadian government for the tragic outcome of Abdullah’s family’s attempt at a better life.She said she understands each country has its own rules, but that she hopes that the government will make it easier for refugees to enter the country. Kurdi said the plan was to eventually have all of her relatives in Canada, working at a hair salon she recently bought. She described her brother Abdullah as a “joker,” who people would visit when they needed to feel better. When asked about her nephews, one of the few phone calls she could remember with 5-year-old Ghalib dealt with a fairly simple little boy request. “He said: ‘Aunty, can you buy me a bicycle?,’” said Kurdi, sobbing. “I said, ‘Yes, I can.’” The family plans to hold a memorial in Vancouver on Saturday. MORE ON THESTAR.COMOttawa implored to take urgent action on refugeesParty leaders’ response to Syrian refugee crisis reveals stark differencesVoters not just spectators in Syrian refugee crisis: Delacourt
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