Meriam Ibrahim’s harrowing story has captured the world’s attention. After the Christian mother of two refused to recant her faith, she was arrested by Sudanese officials and sentenced to death for apostasy.
But weeks after international outrage led to the overturning of her sentence, Ibrahim, 27, is now safe in the United States where she will begin an entirely new life, leaving behind everything she has ever known in her native Sudan.
Ibrahim was greeted by a supportive crowd at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, Thursday, along with her husband, Daniel Wani, an American citizen, and the couple’s two young children, Martin and Maya, CNN reported.
“I can’t describe the feeling. We are so tired,” Wani told reporters at the airport, according to Reuters. “The ordeal is over.”
Ibrahim, who smiled and appeared happy, declined to speak to journalists upon arrival at the airport. The family first landed at Philadelphia International Airport, where she subsequently met with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter who described her as “a world freedom fighter,” Reuters reported.
Nutter also compared Ibrahim to Rosa Parks, the famed U.S. Civil Rights icon.
It’s unclear what will come next for Ibrahim, though she has most certainly escaped death and inspired the world in the process for refusing to recant her faith.
Ibrahim and her family understandably have plans to relax and a party will be thrown in their honor, though additional details about more definitive future plans is not currently known.
Gabriel Wani, her brother-in-law, told reporters that she was granted asylum and was set to meet this week with officials at the U.S. State Department, according to Fox News.
“We’re just going to go and bring them home,” he told the Associated Press. “They want to come home, and they want to rest.”
While Ibrahim certainly has a brighter future ahead of her in America, the Rev. William Devlin, a New York preacher who has assisted her family, told the AP that Ibrahim was solemn about leaving Sudan.
“She is leaving everything she knows behind,” he told the outlet.
Ibrahim, who met with Pope Francis late last month at the Vatican after leaving Sudan for a brief stay in Italy, has defied the odds in recent months.
As TheBlaze previously reported, she was first arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013 and was later also charged with apostasy in February 2014 after she said she was a Christian and not a Muslim, according to the BBC.
She has claimed that she became a Christian after her father, a Muslim, abandoned her family. Ibrahim’s Ethiopian mother, a Christian, then raised her and she adopted her mother’s faith.
Shariah law in Sudan requires that children follow their father’s faith, which led to the initial charges against her.
Originally, Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery, since her marriage to a Christian is not permitted under the law, according to the New York Daily News.
After being released on these charges, she was detained again along with her husband and children at an airport last month in Sudan and accused of falsifying travel documents.
After being released, Ibrahim and her family sought shelter in the U.S. Embassy and had been living there for the past month before their release to Italian authorities and their subsequent trip back to the U.S.