Hugs, signs and gifts greeted the first Syrian refugees to arrive in the Canadian city of Calgary on Monday.
Among the arriving refugees were Antoine Yousef, his wife, his wife’s sister, his 80-year-old mom, and his three-year-old twin daughters, who "couldn’t stop smiling as they walked through the arrival gate," the Calgary Herald reported. The family had fled Syria and lived in Lebanon for a year before arriving in Canada.
“I’m so proud for my daughters to be raised here in Canada, in this great country. You have democracy, freedom, friendly people, everything,” said Yousef through his cousin Esho, who acted as a translator.
Terez Khazaka had not seen her parents in five years, according to Global News. She applied for them to come to Canada as refugees one year ago. On Monday, they were reunited.
"It means a lot because we used to go every couple of years to see them but because of the war, we couldn’t," Khazaka told 660 News. "It was very emotional not seeing them and know that they are in danger. So, it makes it even worse for us. It’s a day I have been waiting more than a year and a half to happen."
This story was originally published on HuffPost Canada by Sarah Rieger. Additional edits made by Nico Pitney.