Mohamed-Mamon Alhamsi hasn’t seen his two adult sons in 15 years.
The former Syrian MP, who now lives in Burnaby was forced to flee the country for opposing the Assad regime.
As he waits anxiously with his four year old daughter Maryam and eight year old son Mustafa for their arrival today at Vancouver International Airport, he is visibly emotional.
“I just want to hold them on my chest.”
Minutes later, he gets his wish as 25 year old Yaseen and 22 year old Majid come through the arrival gate, dropping their bags and running to their father, hugging and crying.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click to see the Alhomsi family reunited at YVR
The young men have come to Canada as government-sponsored refugees. They have been living in Lebanon until now.
Yaseen says the feeling is indescribable.
“I don’t have any words to….can express this feeling, my sister, my brother, first time I see him and my sister, my father….in fifteen years, now I have twenty-five years, I was in school.”
It’s a sentiment his father echoed. He says when he came here he was told it would take six months to get approval for his sons. It took five years.
“It’s really hard to be here and have some family members back there. It is really a suffering, and we want you to know that.”
The family says they’re thankful to Canadians, and that people shouldn’t fear Syrians. They say they’re here to study, and to “Work, work, work.”
Eldest son Yaseen says he has a degree in business administration, and is hoping to complete a masters in Finance here in Canada.