It has been one whole year since Syrian refugees were welcomed to Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Recalling that eventful day at a roundtable conference at a Toronto restaurant last week, one man from the war-torn country managed to reduce Trudeau to tears.
Vanig Garabedian, who is a gynecologist by profession, told the attendees when he was boarding the plane in Beirut, Lebanon, to make his way to Canada, a Canadian who was welcoming passengers greeted him.
"He shook hands with me and said, 'Go and make Canada a better place,’” he said of the last person he met in the Middle East.
Although this incident had already warmed his heart, Garabedian was even happier when he arrived in Canada and was greeted by Trudeau himself.
“Then we landed at Pearson airport, and the very first person we shook hands was the prime minister," he added.
The Canadian prime minister picked a napkin off the table and wiped his eyes as the Syrian man recounted his experience.
"When I met Mr. Prime Minister at that moment, he said two words: 'Welcome home.' So imagine you are living in a warzone, you are leaving your home and you are welcomed by two words: welcome home," said the refugee.
"So my memories of that moment went back to Syria before war, our life, our happiness there, and the horrible moments we went through during war. So I felt myself that I'm proud to be here,” he continued.
"I felt that being there in the name of all Canadians to welcome people was really important," Trudeau told CBC Toronto's Metro Morning.
The Canadian prime minister took the internet by storm when he greeted Syrian refugees at the airport with hugs and warm clothes.
In comparison to the United States, which aimed to take in 10,000 refugees over the coming year, Trudeau pledged to resettle 25,000 migrants in Canada by the end of February 2016.
“They step off the plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada with social insurance numbers, with health cards and with an opportunity to become full Canadians,” Trudeau had said at the time. “This is something that we are able to do in this country because we define a Canadian not by a skin color or a language or a religion or a background, but by a shared set of values, aspirations, hopes and dreams that not just Canadians but people around the world share.”
Check out the heartwarming video above.