Tima Kurdi helped save lives by standing up for refugees

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      The image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi's lifeless body on a Turkish beach shocked the world in early September.

      Today, his uncle Mohammed Kurdi and his wife and five kids were reunited with the family of his aunt Tima, a resident of Coquitlam.

      The tearful gathering at the Vancouver International Airport didn't include Alan's father Abdullah, who's Tima's brother.

      He's remained in the Kurdish area of Iraq after losing not only Alan, but his wife and another son, Ghalib, when they tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

      Today, Tima Kurdi offered generous thanks to the Canadian people, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the government of Turkey, and officials in Kurdish Iraq.

      "Thank the world, every single person, every country [that] opened their heart to refugees," she said.

      In the wake of the tragedy last September, Tima Kurdi has distinguished herself by frequently speaking out for more humanity for Syrian refugees.

      In the process, she helped change the world's perception, tilting momentum in favour of offering help rather than turning our backs.

      Tima Kurdi's refusal to remain silent helped saved lives.

      Perhaps it's us who should be giving thanks to her, rather than the other way around.