Last year, a story went viral that shocked the entire world. A Syrian man, 36-year-old Hassan Al Kontar, was stuck in Malaysian airport. He could not leave the airport and enter the country, neither could he go back to Syria. He survived on rice packets and slept on a chair in the airport for seven months. His pain was brought out for the World to see thanks to a popular video channel, Nas Daily. Today, sitting in Canada, he revisits his horrific days of hopelessness.
Dreams are not meant to come true, which is why we call them dreams. But being in Whistler, after years of being homeless, illegal, jobless, on the run, in hiding, and then seven difficult months of sleeping in a chair at the airport, all of that made me realize something:
Dreams can come true, and Destiny is real.
Is it worth it? I often asked that during my two months in prison; locked in a four by five metre cell with 40 people in it, the lights on 24 hours, an open toilet and freezing water for washing. Is it worth it, listening to the endless flight announcements, hiding myself under an escalator just to avoid the stares or endless questions.
Now I am sitting here at Cranked Coffee looking out at the beauty of Whistler and I am more than sure it was worth it and I’d do it again.
I have a home and a family who love me here and will take care of me. Now everything is starting to make sense again. All that happened to me has led to this.
I believe I have a special role to play now too, by continuing to raise awareness of the plight of the Syrian people and of refugees everywhere.
So when you start questioning yourself and wondering why certain things have happened, remember, one day it will all make perfect sense.
Meanwhile, there is one important question that needs to be resolved: should I ski or snowboard?
Story By: Hassan Al Kontar
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