Saudi girl, 18, arrives in Toronto after Canada offered her asylum when she fled her family after they threatened to kill her.

The 18-year-old Saudi girl who fled her family fearing they would kill her after she rejected Islam has arrived in Toronto. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun garnered support around the world this week as people learned how she had barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family. Her family denies any abuse, but Ms al-Qunun refused to meet her father and brother who arrived in Thailand to try and fetch the teen. Instead, she took a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday and then a connecting flight to Toronto. Al-Qunun shared photos to Twitter from her flight to Toronto, showing her relaxing in business class with wine and her legs up. 'I would like to thank you, people, for supporting me and saving my life,' she said. 'Truly I have never dreamed of this love and support You are the spark that would motivate me to be a better person.'
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland greeted al-Qunun, after she landed in Toronto, wearing a blue ball cap and a gray hoodie emblazoned in red with the word 'CANADA.' Ms. Freeland told reporters with her arm around the teen: 'This is Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun a very brave new Canadian.' Ms al-Qunun Tweeted pictures during her flight in First Class drinking claret, chardonnay, and eating caviar. Her case was expedited after it garnered an unprecedented amount of media attention. She highlighted her homeland's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male chaperone to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families. 'Canada has been unequivocal that we'll stand up for human rights and women's rights around the world,' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. 'When the United Nations made a request of us that we grant Ms al-Qunun's asylum, we accepted.' Canada's ambassador saw her off at the airport, Thai Police Major General Surachate Hakparn said, adding that she looked happy and healthy. 'She chose Canada. It's her personal decision,' he said. Ms al-Qunun is the daughter of a Saudi governor and has nine siblings. She used a loophole in the state's tough laws to travel to Kuwait unaccompanied. From there, she purchased a ticket to Bangkok and was hoping to seek asylum in Canada, the United States, Australia, the UK, or 'any nation would protect her from being harmed or killed by her family'. Instead, her passport was seized by a Saudi diplomat and she was forced to lock herself in an apartment room. She says she spent months planning her escape before implementing her dangerous plan on January 5.
Her dire situation was compared to that of Dina Ali Lasloom, a 24-year-old woman who sought asylum under similar circumstances at Manila airport in April of 2017. She pleaded for help but was ultimately forced back on a plane home kicking and screaming and has never been heard from since. Ms al-Qunun's case garnered far more attention at a quicker speed, with many praising social media and technology. After pleading with just 24 followers, her plight was picked up by numerous figures around the world who shared her story with their followers. Within 24 hours, she had over 45,000 followers and growing. Soon after, she was tweeting to 100,000 people.