Rahaf Mohammad al-Qunun (C) accompanied by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chryistia Freeland (R), arrives at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 12, 2019. (REUTERS/Carlos Osorio)
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The young Saudi woman who fled her family seeking asylum abroad is scheduled to land in Canada on Saturday after successfully harnessing the power of Twitter to stave off deportation from Thailand.Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was already en route to Toronto late Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would take her in.Raif Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar also praised Canada, calling Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Twitter "the real hero" behind efforts to prevent Qunun's repatriation to Saudi Arabia.Qunun left from the same airport where her quest for asylum began less than a week ago in a swift-moving process that defied most norms.Qunun's swift use of Twitter saw her amass more than tens of thousands of followers within a week, highlighting her plight at a time when Saudi Arabia's human rights record is under heavy scrutiny following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.Thailand's immigration chief Surachate had earlier told reporters Friday that "two or three" countries were ready to offer her asylum.
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