Coffee has been a lifeline for Hassan Al Kontar since the war broke out in Syria. The former refugee spent seven months living in legal limbo at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport and two more months in immigration detention, before finding asylum in Canada. Living in the airport, he was often the beneficiary of the kindness of strangers who had heard about him through the news and would buy him coffee or food. After calling and emailing refugee agencies, NGOs and foreign ministries and embassies that might help him, he started live-tweeting about his life in the airport. It got the attention of Canadian media, and eventually a group of Canadian citizens came together to advocate on his behalf. This group was headed by Laurie Cooper of Whistler, B.C., who croudsourced money for Al Kontar to live on in the airport and helped him navigate the asylum system. Cooper's group’s work eventually paid off, and Al Kontar was brought to Canada. He is now a permanent resident of Abbotsford, B.C., and advocates on behalf of other refugees.

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