Saudi Arabian Teen Uses Twitter to Find a Safe Haven in Canada


Anusha Mathias, Editor-in-Chief

Rahaf al-Qunun reached her new home in Canada on January 12, 2019. Rahaf al-Qunun’s story reverberated across the globe via Twitter where she gave live updates of her ordeal. Rahaf is originally from Saudi Arabia where she was not allowed to attend school or work and was treated poorly by her family. Rahaf escaped from her family on a family trip to Kuwait. From there, she took a flight to Bangkok, Thailand and planned to take a connecting flight to Australia. She ran into trouble when she was stopped by Saudi Arabian officials and had her passport confiscated. After that Rahaf barricaded herself into an airport hotel room and posted constant updates about her situation on Twitter. Twitter picked up the issue and soon the UNHCR which is the UN’s refugee agency caught wind of the issue and granted Rahaf asylum. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on the situation saying, “Canada has been unequivocal that we will always stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world.” Rahaf al-Qunun’s incredible journey has inspired many and brought more awareness to the issues women still face in the Middle East.