Front Burner

After seven months trapped inside an airport, a refugee calls Canada home

Syrian refugee Hassan Al Kontar shares his unbelievable journey to Canada.
Hassan Al Kontar arrives in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Ben Nelms/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode20:54

Hassan Al Kontar is now safe in Canada. But for seven long months, the Syrian refugee was stuck inside the transit area of Kuala Lumpur Airport, terrified of being deported back to Syria.

Today, Hassan shares how he survived being stranded, the psychological toll of two months in detention in Malaysia, and how a group of Canadians changed this life by raising money to bring him to Whistler, B.C., as a privately-sponsored refugee. 

Hassan Al Kontar hugs Laurie Cooper after arriving in Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/Canadian Press)

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