Now, the 37-year-old Syrian has lastly landed in Vancouver, Canada, thanks to 2 organizations: the British Columbia Muslim Affiliation and Canada Caring Society, who lobbied for months and finally managed to sponsor his launch.
“On my first days of freedom, I wish to benefit from the contemporary air and stroll on the streets of Vancouver as a lot as I can,” he instructed CNN from Canada. “I will take scorching showers and a cup espresso with mates.”
After seven months at Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport and two months in a Malaysian detention heart, Kontar mentioned in a video tweeted on November 26: “For right this moment, I’m in Taiwan worldwide airport. Tomorrow I will likely be reaching my ultimate vacation spot: Vancouver, Canada.”
“I’ve arrived and I nonetheless cannot imagine it. I could not sleep out of the thrill. I’ve a job ready for me in a resort so I will begin working as quickly as I handle to get some relaxation,” he continued. “I spotted there is a second in life when the actual life may be extra superb and exquisite than the desires themselves.”
Initially from Dama, Syria, Al Kontar labored as an insurance coverage advertising and marketing supervisor within the UAE from 2006 to 2012, in line with CNN associate CBC.
He misplaced his work allow after the Syrian civil conflict broke out, and didn’t wish to return to his house nation, so he stayed illegally within the UAE till 2016.
After being arrested after which freed, he managed to get a brand new passport however was finally deported to Malaysia.
When he tried to get to Turkey in March, he was turned away from a Turkish Airways flight, resulting in him being stranded within the transit space of the Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport.
As quickly as he touched the bottom in Vancouver, Kontar was welcomed by Laurie Cooper, a part of a bunch that raised cash to sponsor him.
Cooper, who began to become involved with migrant assist networks after a volunteering stint on the Greek island of Lesbos, instructed CNN the applying to sponsor Al Kontar was fast-tracked due to the assistance of the Canadian authorities and worldwide NGOs.
“When he was arrested by Malaysian authorities in October, the state of affairs grew to become dire,” Cooper mentioned. “Quite a lot of fantastic individuals stepped as much as assist.”
Recalling his peculiar expertise, Kontar says it modified his perspective on life, as extraordinarily troublesome because it was:
“Giving up shouldn’t be an choice, it is a end in not believing in what you are doing, not being allowed in what you are doing, not attempting sufficient,” he says, including that each one he was asking was for “minimal human rights similar to the correct to be completely protected, have a job, and a spot I can name house.”
“When the airplane touched the bottom, and I noticed Laurie, I acquired all I wished,” he provides. “I’ve all the things now, lastly I can calm down and benefit from the second.”
“I can really feel the sunshine after the darkness.”