Trudeau meets Syrian baby named after him

  • The two-month-old is the son of a Syrian couple who fled war-torn Damascus to resettle in Canada.
World

CALGARY – The Canadian Prime Minister came face to face with two-month-old Justin Trudeau Adam Bilan – the son of a Syrian couple who fled war-ravaged Damascus to start a new life in Canada.


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The boy’s parents, Muhammad and Afraa Bilan, named their newborn son after the Prime Minister to pay tribute to his open refugee policy and show their gratitude for the offer of refuge.

The get-together took place at the Calgary Stampede on Saturday where the baby snoozed contently while Mr Trudeau held him.

The couple arrived in Montreal in February of last year in the midst of Canada’s bitterly cold winter accompanied by their daughter Naya, who is 4, and their son Nael who is 3.

Mini Trudeau was born in Calgary – a city near the Canadian Rockies which is home to around 1,000 Syrian refugees – in May of this year.

The family’s opportunity to flee Syria came five years into the atrocities of the war. After learning Canada was starting to take in Syrian refugees after Mr Trudeau became Prime Minister, they jumped at the chance to leave.

Just over 40,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Canada since Mr Trudeau took office in November 2015. In December 2015, the world leader personally welcomed the first planeload of Syrian refugees at Toronto airport and was seen handing out winter coats.