The moment has finally arrived.
An emotional reunion as the family of a Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach arrived in Vancouver.
Tears of joy marked the end of a long and tragic road as Tima Kurdi’s brother Mohammad, his wife Ghosun, and their five children touched down at YVR.
CLICK TO SEE: The Kurdi family arrives in Canada
A tearful Tima Kurdi told media she was thankful to the international community, and everyone in Canada who had helped her family make the difficult journey.
“The most important part – thank you to Canadian people and Justin Trudeau for opening the door and show the world how everyone should welcome and save lives.”
And she offered a message to the thousands of refugees still making their way out of the war torn region.
“There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I walked through that tunnel, I did not see that light yet. But it doesn’t mean it’s the end.”
A new life
Speaking through a translator, Kurdi’s brother Mohammad said he almost can’t believe he’s here, saying it’s “dream come true, we almost lost hope.”
Along with his wife Ghosun, he is joined by his 16-year old daughter Heveen, 14-year-old son Shergo, nine-year-old daughter Ranim, eight-year-old son Rezan, and infant daughter Sherwan.
Mohammad has been working in Germany for the last seven months while the rest of his family lived in Turkey. During that time, his five-month-old daughter was born.
He describes meeting her for the first time this morning at the Frankfurt airport.
“A feeling I could not express, it was very emotional.”
The Kurdis five children will now adjust to life in Canada, attending Canadian schools. Shergo had been working in an industrial laundry facility in Istanbul to help the family make ends meet and says he’s thrilled to get to be a kid again.
“Thank you to the Canadian people and the Canadian government, for not having to work any more, I’m going to start a new life”
Mohammad, a barber by trade, will now join Tima Kurdi at her new salon.
Tima had previously tried to sponsor Mohammad’s family to come to Canada as refugees, but the application was rejected because they lacked a key U.N. form.
After the rejection, her other brother, Abdullah, attempted the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece in an overcrowded boat with his family.
The boat capsized, and Abdullahs wife and two sons drowned.
The photo of his three -year-old son Allan’s lifeless body shocked the world, becoming iconic of the refugee crisis.
In the wake of the disaster, Canada invited the Kurdis to re-apply to come to Canada.
Mohammad’s family did, but Tima says Abdullah will remain in Kurdistan. Today, she offered a message to him as she was reunited with her family.