‘A very brave new Canadian’: Woman who fled Saudi Arabia arrives in Toronto

‘A very brave new Canadian’: Woman who fled Saudi Arabia arrives in Toronto


WATCH: Saudi teen fleeing abusive family arrives in Canada, welcomed by Chrystia Freeland

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A young Saudi woman who fled her allegedly abusive family, drawing renewed attention to the plight of women in the conservative kingdom, has arrived in Toronto.

Rahaf Al-Qunun, 18, arrived at Pearson International Airport on Saturday morning on a flight from the South Korean capital Seoul, having left Bangkok on Friday night.

Al-Qunun emerged at the arrivals gate with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who introduced her as “a very brave new Canadian.” Freeland said Al-Qunun was tired from her ordeal and a long journey, and won’t be making public comment at this time.

“She’s very, very happy to be in her new home although she did comment to me about the cold,” Freeland said. “I told her it does get warmer.”

READ MORE: Canada shouldn’t use teenage Saudi refugee as a ‘political football,’ says former ambassador

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said Friday that Canada had accepted a request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to grant Al-Qunun asylum.

“Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world, and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN’s request,” he said.

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