Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A Unique Reunion of an Afghan Refugee and her Dog in Canada

Immigration News

Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahihttps://www.khaama.com
Nizamuddin Rezahi is a journalist and editor for Khaama Press. You may follow him @nizamrezahi on Twitter.
Siddiqui and Lucky at Peace Arch Provincial Park on Saturday. (Janella Hamilton/CBC

Freshta Siddiqui who fled Afghanistan last year was finally reunited with her dog at the Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey in Canada on Saturday morning. 

Freshta Siddiqui sent her dog (Lucky), a three-year-old Anatolian Shepherd, and her cat Leo on a plane full of poets, chartered by the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals (SPCA) International, from Kabul to Vancouver in February 2022.

Before the reunion, Lucky went on to stay at a number of foster homes and eventually ended up at a temporary home in Portland, Ore., as Siddiqui and her mother endeavored to get to Canada as refugees.

After sending Lucky and Leo off, Siddiqui and her family escaped Afghanistan to Pakistan, where they spent nearly a year before finally reaching Vancouver in December. Siddiqui was eventually reunited with Lucky this weekend at Peace Arch Provincial Park on Saturday.

“I feel overwhelmingly joyful for seeing Lucky again, and am happy to introduce her to Leo who is waiting for her at home,” Siddiqui said.

Siddiqui said Lucky used to bark when the Taliban, and strangers entered their place in Kabul. Siddiqui’s family was sought by the Taliban officials because of their advocacy for women’s rights.  

“Freshta’s story really, really touched our hearts,” said Lori Kalef, director of programs for SPCA International.

Freshta fled Afghanistan fearing persecution and death threats under the Taliban regime, while Lucky were we lucky enough to be saved by Freshta, and sent to Vancouver in a chartered flight arranged by SPCA International.

The reunion of Freshta and Lucky after ten months in Vancouver is quite emotional and unique. Since the return of the Taliban to power in August 2021, millions of people were internally displaced in Afghanistan, thousands migrated to the neighboring countries, and a considerable number of people even moved to Canada, the United States, and Europe.

During the evacuations, some people were even separated from their family members who never succeeded to reunite, however, Freshta, Leo, and Lucky came together after being a part for nearly a year.

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