Every day for more than eight months, Syrian refugee Hassan Al Kontar has watched dozens of planes take off from Malaysia’s international airport without being able to board a flight himself. Al Kontar, 37, fled forced conscription in his war-torn homeland only to wind up stranded in the transit zone of a Kuala Lumpur terminal, unable to enter Malaysia, and rebuffed when he tried reaching Ecuador, then Cambodia. Finally, earlier this week, Al Kontar secured a one-way ticket to Canada, where he has been granted asylum.

“Tomorrow I will be reaching my final destination: Vancouver, Canada,” he said in a video posted to Twitter Monday during a layover in Taiwan. “It was a hard, long journey. The last 10 months it was very hard and cold,” he added.

...