Sudanese mother of two Meriam Ibrahim and her family arrived in Philadelphia on Thursday, and were greeted by the mayor before leaving for New Hampshire, where supporters cheered and welcomed her to the U.S.
In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter called Ibrahim a “world freedom fighter,” and presented her with a small statue of the Liberty Bell. Nutter even compared her to Rosa Parks for her refusal to denounce her faith even though it would have saved her life.
In Manchester, N.H., supporters gathered at the airport to welcome Ibrahim, chanting “long live America.” Ibrahim’s husband, U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, thanked Americans for their help.
“Thank you so much,” Wani said. “I am so relieved.”
Wani’s brother, Gabriel, said the U.S. had granted Ibrahim asylum.
Ibrahim had been sentenced to hang for apostasy in May, convicted of supposedly leaving Islam even though she was raised Christian.
After her conviction was overturned, Ibrahim was arrested a second time for supposedly faking travel documents. When she was released again, she and her family sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum.
In late July, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arranged a flight to Rome for Ibrahim so she and her family could flee Sudan. While there, Ibrahim met Pope Francis, who thanked her for her dedication to her faith.
Gabriel said the family plans to “relax,” now that the ordeal is over. He gave no other indication what Ibrahim’s future plans would be.