Yazidi family cheers for new arrivals at Winnipeg airport
Eight more members of a family arrived Thursday as part of Operation Ezra
Members of a Yazidi family brought to Winnipeg as refugees last year cheered as more members of their family stepped off a plane at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday.
Eight members of the family came to Winnipeg after spending the last three years in a refugee camp in Turkey, after fleeing the Sinjar region in Iraq when they were attacked by ISIS.
"When we left the camp, she was saying that she will die and we won't see her anymore and that made me very sad. I didn't see my grandfather when he died, so I'm so happy to see her and I hope that she will be OK," she said.
Life in the refugee camp was "harsh," she said.
"I remember that I always wished to be out of the camp to study and to finish my school to help my family. It was a harsh life, I was never happy, not even anyone of the other people in the camp."
Madleen's grandmother Shireen Khudida, 81, said the reaction her family received when the arrived at the airport surprised her.
10th family brought to Winnipeg by Operation Ezra
Khudida's daughter, Base Qare, had been separated from her mother for 13 months before being reunited on Thursday.
"I just can't thank everybody enough for being here and supporting these people in need," said Qare.
"It's been a journey for all of us and it certainly has been a journey for many of these families," said Michel Aziza, chair of Operation Ezra.
ISIS has targeted Yazidi people in Iraq and Syria, killing and raping thousands and selling many into slavery. The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion in 2016 calling the persecution of Yazidis a genocide and committing to provide asylum to Yazidi women and girls.
- Operation Ezra was not involved in reuniting Emad Mishko Tammo with his mother in Winnipeg. An earlier version of this story had incorrect information.Apr 04, 2018 10:54 AM CT