After several years apart, the refugee family finally settles in their new Saskatoon home

Rashid Ahmed and Virdah Rashid were forced to live apart for several years.

They married in 2018 but have been apart since then, with the exception of a few, rare trips Rashid can make.

“I hope and pray and pray that my wife will be here soon,” Rashid told Global News in November 2020.

He can stop praying. On Wednesday, Virdah came in Saskatoon – her new home – with their new baby.

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“At first I did not think so,” she said, a few minutes after I got off the plane.

I mean, am I really going to Canada?

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Rashid and Virdah are Ahmadiya Muslims, a minority sect, and for more than 15 years Virdah was a refugee in Iranflees from religious persecution in Pakistan.

She recently returned to Pakistan because they thought she would have a better chance of getting a Canadian visa from there.

Politics, prejudice and the pandemic kept them separate. It was difficult and expensive for Rashid to visit Virdah even before COVID-19 shut down travel. They spent hours on the phone every day talking.

But Rashid was told early this year that he would have to make another trip.

Virdah was pregnant.

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Her visa had come through but she was so close to delivering her child that she could not fly.

Rashid tried to get to Pakistan on July 21, the expected due date.

“My flight was canceled on July 11 and then (it) was rescheduled for 15th, “he said.” But again it was interrupted. “

The baby was early and he missed the birth.

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“I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m alone this time,’ she said. ‘My parents are not here and my husband is not here, so it’s very bad for me.”

Hospital staff called Rashid during the birth with bad news.

“It was a very worrying moment because doctors say Michelle’s heartbeat is not working properly. So I just cried. ”

But both Virdah and Michelle, their daughter, were okay.

Rashid gives Virdah all the credit

“She is a brave woman,” he said, “and I am very fortunate to have her in my life.”

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He said holding his daughter for the first time was one of the most memorable days of his life.

I think it was a great feeling as a father. ” he said. “I was super happy.”

The family was finally able to get to Canada after waiting a few months for Michelle’s documents. They landed in Toronto and traveled to Saskatoon a few days later.

Virdah says she wants to return to school and travel around Canada. She said she wants to visit Jasper and Banff.

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But above all, she and Rashid can not wait to finally start their new life – together, with Michelle.

“Now I’m so happy,” Virdah said. “Oh, thank God, my dreams came true.

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Afghan refugees settle in Saskatoon

Afghan refugees settle in Saskatoon

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