Stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport for eight months, Hassan al Kontar finally secured a one-way ticket to Canada where he was granted permanent residency on Monday.
On Sunday, Kontar posted a video on Twitter during a layover at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “For now it’s not important where I have been. The bus is no longer with us. What is important is today and tomorrow, the present and the future. For today, I am in Taiwan International Airport and tomorrow I will be reaching my final destination Vancouver, Canada.”, Kontar said in his video message.
Breaking news ✌✌ pic.twitter.com/o2vQGROBdS
— Hassan Al Kontar (@Kontar81) November 26, 2018
Kontar stayed on at Kuala Lumpur airport since March 7 as he was not allowed to travel to other countries and was barred from entering Malaysia as well due to some visa issues.
Kontar had earlier said he tried leaving Kuala Lumpur, first for Ecuador, but airline staff refused to board him. In March, he attempted to go to Cambodia, but immigration officials deported him back to Malaysia.
A former insurance salesman, al Kontar was living in the United Arab Emirates when war broke out in Syria. He was deported to Kuala Lumpur in 2016, he said, after the Syrian embassy in the UAE refused to renew his passport.
Hassan al Kontar started posting videos of his daily life on Twitter and Facebook regularly that attracted the attention of rights groups and media.
His case had even invited comparisons with the Steven Spielberg movie “The Terminal”, in which Tom Hanks played an Eastern European traveller stuck in New York’s JFK airport after his passport was revoked following a coup in his home country.
The United Nations in October had said that Kontar should be released immediately and not sent to his war-torn homeland following his arrest for spending months in the Malaysian airport.
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