Rahaf Mohammed: Saudi refugee gets 24-hour security in Canada
Teen tries bacon and Western dress as she begins new life in Toronto
Rahaf Mohammed, the Saudi teenager who fled the repressive kingdom and used social media to draw global attention to her plight, has been given round-the-clock security after receiving “hundreds” of death threats.
Toronto-based refugee agency Costi has hired a full-time bodyguard to ensure the 18-year-old, who has been granted asylum in Canada, is never alone.
“Because of the possible risks they are considering settling her - at least for the foreseeable future - with a family to ensure she is not living alone,” the BBC reports.
Mohammed initially sought refuge in Thailand, after slipping away from her family on a trip to Kuwait on 5 January and boarding a flight to Bangkok, hoping to ultimately claim asylum in Australia.
When Thai authorities refused to grant her entry, “she barricaded herself in a hotel room to avoid deportation and began tweeting - quickly amassing a huge following”, says the Daily Mail.
After the UN became involved, she was quickly offered asylum in Canada, and touched down in Toronto on Saturday to begin her new life.
“We are treated as an object, like a slave. We could not make decisions about what we want,” she said, claiming her family beat her for “not praying and not helping around the house”, and prevented her from leaving the house after she had her hair cut shot.
In contrast, recent photos posted to social media show her “defiantly enjoying her newfound freedom in the West - by trying bacon for the first time and going for Starbucks coffee with bare legs”, says the Daily Mail.
Asked about her long-term plans at a press conference yesterday, Mohammed said she intends to learn English and continue her education, so she can “have a job and live a normal life”.