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Written By: Lynn Raineault Based in Ottawa, Canada

In Kelowna, British Columbia, a group of private sponsors started “a movement” to bring a Syrian family to Canada. Together, they’re helping parents Mohammad and Sahar, along with their four children, build a new life in their community.

ss Kelowna

Mohammad and Sahar sat across the aisle from one another, each with a son and daughter to care for during the 13-hour flight. Refugees from Syria, they had never been on a plane before. This life-changing journey would take them on four in as many days.

Behind them was what remained of their house in Homs and the strange hybrid structure – not quite a tent, but definitely not a house – in a farmer’s field in Lebanon, where Mohammad had eked out a living for them for four years.

Ahead: Canada. That’s all they knew.

If Sahar didn’t know much about Canada, she had heard things. The most important to her was that it was a peaceful country where her children would be safe. After years of uncertainty, nothing mattered more.

Mohammad’s concerns were more immediate. He was hoping, he says, for “somebody who spoke Arabic who could tell us where we were going.”

Read their story on the UNHCR website here.



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