Stephen: Syrian man granted asylum in Canada after living 7 months in an airport
Hassan al-Kontar moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2006 to avoid mandatory military service in his native Syria. In 2011, the Syrian government refused to renew his passport, so he quickly flew to Malaysia, where he received a three-month tourist visa. But when he tried to board a flight to Ecuador shortly thereafter, The Washington Post reports that Kontar was turned away at the gate for unknown reasons. So he made his way to Malaysia and, having run out of money, spent the next seven months living in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, sleeping under stairwells and eating leftover chicken-and-rice dinners from AirAsia flights.
He documented his life in videos on Twitter, where his plight earned comparisons to The Terminal. Finally, on Sunday, Canada granted him asylum, and on Monday he arrived in Vancouver, B.C. Oh, and he says he’s done flying. “No more airports,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “I’d rather use a horse if there’s no car.”