Prime Minister marks start of Thanksgiving holiday by meeting Afghan refugee family

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday by meeting a family of Afghan refugees who recently arrived in the country.

Obaidullah Rahimi began working at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul in 2008, and was hired full-time last year.

He came to Canada with his wife, three-year-old daughter, and a new baby who is now a month-and-a-half old.

“This is what Thanksgiving is all about, reflecting on how lucky we are,” Trudeau said as he met Rahimi in Ottawa on Saturday.

Trudeau met the family at a home where volunteers prepared gift baskets to give to resettled Afghan families and the prime minister helped wrap one of them.

Rahimi said he loved working at the Canadian Embassy, and thought Canadians were friendly.

“Thank you, thank you for having us here and thank you for everything you did,” he said.

More than 1,000 refugees have arrived from Afghanistan and Canada has committed to resettling 20,000 people from the country, following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan over the summer.

Trudeau said Canadians are happy that Rahimi and his family are safe.

“We’re happy to bring you here for the next phase of your life,” Trudeau said.

“It’s an important thing to be there for so many of your countrymen who’ve suffered and who’ve faced a setback now with the Taliban _ a terrible thing, but we will continue to work together towards a better future.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2021.


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