A teenage Saudi was granted refugee status by Canada and has now arrived in Toronto…in business class on Korean Air.
Last week I wrote about 18-year old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who fled her allegedly-abusive family while on vacation in Kuwait but got stuck in Thailand. After barricading herself in a transit hotel room and making emotional pleas to the world on Twitter, Canada accepted her asylum request.
On Friday, she left Bangkok and flew to Seoul on Korean Air, connecting from Seoul to Toronto. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland greeted her upon arrival, ensuring she would not be interdicted by any “Saudi diplomats” in Toronto as she was in Bangkok.
Perhaps a travel blogger in the making, she live-tweeted parts of her flight, showing that she flew business class and enjoyed the onboard wine. What a pity she experienced Korean’s old business class seat. 😉
Still, that’s a nice upgrade for someone who was initially detained in Bangkok in part because she had no cash or other funds for onward travel.
— Rahaf Mohammed رهف محمد (@rahaf84427714) January 11, 2019
Upon arriving in Canada, al-Qunun stated:
I would like to thank you people for supporting me and saiving [sic] my life. Truly I have never dreamed of this love and support You are the spark that would motivate me to be a better person.
Welcome to your new home, Ms. al-Qunun. I’m glad you got to enjoy business class.
And on a more serious note, I am so thankful that al-Qunun did not experience the fate of Dina Ali Lasloom, who tried a similar act in 2017 in Manilla, but was sent (kicking and screaming) on a plane back to Saudi Arabia. She has not been heard from since.
image: Korean Air