The National

Watch a family reunite in B.C. after 2 years overseas due to COVID-19

They didn’t see their grandmother for two years because of the pandemic and international travel restrictions. Now they’re getting their long-awaited reunion, but it didn’t quite go as planned.

A pre-pandemic move to Saudi Arabia left the Alkouatlis separated from their family much longer than expected

The Alkouatlis finally reunited with their family in Canada but weren't able to hug for two weeks due to quarantine requirements. (Submitted by Saadi Alkouatli)

It's been two years since the three children in the Alkouatli family have seen their grandmother in Vancouver as a result of the pandemic.

They relocated to Saudi Arabia in August 2019. 

The pandemic and the travel restrictions that soon followed meant the family of five could not visit B.C. to see their Canadian family — until recently. 

And while the trip went smoothly, actually getting to hug their grandma was more complicated than they hoped.

Their YVR pandemic reunion with grandma hit snags before hugs

3 months ago
After nearly two years separated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alkouatli family was thrilled they could finally visit grandma in Vancouver, only their long-awaited reunion didn’t quite go as planned. 3:52

The family shared their story with The National, which you can watch in the video above.

The National is taking a look at a series of pandemic-delayed reunions this week — all personal, all emotional, all stories of people who have waited too long to be together.