Since April, MCC Alberta has partnered with several agencies, communities, and local church congregations to assist Syrian individuals and families living as refugees. So far we have submitted 210 cases and 36 individuals have arrived.
The Almouad family are some of these individuals who have recently resettled in Edmonton after living as refugees in Lebanon, where they were seen as outsiders.
Donna Entz sat down to talk with them to see how their first weeks were going. When asked what they are enjoying about Canada they said many things. Among feeling safer, being able to continue studying once again, they noted that the people are so respectful. “Every office whether in schools, banks, grocery stores, people treat us with respect. Even with not knowing English they are patient to wait until someone translates. We feel that we are equal like everyone else.”
The mother, Hayat, shared a story of a surprising experience while on an escalator in City Centre mall. At the top of the escalator, as she was ready to get off, her long dress got caught and she couldn't free it. Security came soon and they apologized saying, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry Madam, but we can't do anything else but cut off your dress.” So they cut it off and freed her up. She was in no way injured but that could have been very serious if it had been caught part way up. Anyway, Security took down their contact info and they received a gift card for $75 in the mail, so that she can replace her dress. She and her family were astounded that someone would care.
The family also noted how surprised they are by the organization everywhere. Doctor's files are in order, everything works on time and in order. The mother thought that there was only one month of summer so she is surprised that it is longer. They find Canada to be very beautiful.
We are so grateful for the strong support and energy of our constituents, and for new partnerships that make it possible for families like the Almouad family, to find a new future in Canada.
Read the Globe and Mail article from Sept 10, 2015