Recently one story of a Saudi woman who escaped and barricaded herself at the airport in Thailand is on every newspaper and news website online. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending and the woman is now safe and arrived in Canada. 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Kunun, who fled from Saudi Arabia, was granted asylum in Canada. Official Ottawa “responded positively to the UN’s request for asylum,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, January 11th. On the same day, al-Kunun flew to Canada overboard Korean Air. According to an 18-year-old girl, she was forced to marry a person she never met before.
At the Toronto airport, the girl was met by Canadian Foreign Minister Hristia Freeland.
On January 5th, the girl flew to Bangkok on a flight from Kuwait, where she was traveling with relatives. According to al-Kunun, she was threatened and abused by her own family at home because she did not agree to marry.
Thai authorities said they would not send her back. The girl was allowed to leave the airport building, where she spent several days, and move to a hotel. The United Nations has recognized the 18-year-old Saudi as a refugee.
Many other people, mostly women, tried to escape before from Saudi Arabia, looking for a better and safer life in peace with their religion and their own choice of a life and marriage partner.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Kunun is not the only girl who tried to escape from Saudi Arabia. In April 2017, at the airport in Manila, Dina Laslum, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was detained. She was also forced to marry against her will, for this reason, she fled the country. But the Philippine authorities decided to deport the girl, her fate is unknown.
Canada is known for being open to immigrants from all over the world and excepting refugees to help them feel safe and build a new life in a new country. Many of those refugees found a good job and a happily married to people they chose for themselves, they are also being productive members of Canadian society, often taking part in charity events and contributing as volunteers as much as they can.