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Family of Alan Kurdi, drowned Syrian boy, coming to Canada

Posted by Oped 602 days ago Toronto Star| family alan kurdi drowned syrian boy coming canada All
http://www.thestar.com — Some family members of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi may soon be coming to Canada, hopefully by Christmas, his aunt Tima told the Star on Friday. The photo of the little boy’s body on a beach in September drew the world’s attention to the plight of Syrian refugees. He died in a desperate attempt by his parents to reach Europe, in which his mother and 5-year-old brother Ghaleb also died. His father Abdullah, who is Tima’s brother, now lives alone in northern Iraq. Tima says she was recently told by the Canadian government that her application to sponsor her other brother Mohammed (Alan Kurdi’s uncle), his wife and five children has been approved. “My emotions are mixed,” she said. “Still I’m thinking about the other two nephews (Alan and Ghaleb). They’re supposed to be here.” The government originally rejected Tima’s application to sponsor Mohammed and his family earlier this year. The plan was that once they had settled in the country, she would apply to bring over Abdullah and his family. But Tima said she received a call in October asking her to reapply, and was told some of the requirements to sponsor Syrian refugees had been changed. Now she’s busy buying beds and emptying out rooms in her Coquitlam, B.C. home to welcome seven family members. She said Mohammed, who lives in Germany, recently cleared mandatory medical and security checks, as did his wife and five children, who live in a basement in Istanbul. The family fled Damascus almost three years ago. But she still doesn’t know when exactly they will be calling Canada home. “I’m hoping they will be here soon, by Christmas, and that we will all celebrate Christmas together,” Tima said.She recently finalized plans to buy a hair salon, which she will call Kurdi Hair Design. Mohammed, a barber, may one day work with her. “It’s my dream,” she said. Tima still hopes to bring her brother, Abdullah, to Canada one day as well. But he has no plans to go anywhere soon. Since the deaths of his wife and two sons, he has been trying to keep busy helping refugees in Iraq, delivering food and school supplies. “I won’t leave him,” said Tima. “When he’s ready, I will help him.”
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