Four years after leaving their home in Damascus, a family of Syrian refugees has arrived in Vancouver, just in time for Christmas.
“They’re very excited to be here, it’s been a long time since they left their actual home. So this is a great day for them. Today they can start their lives.”
That from Hisham Wattar, a North Vancouver man who started the sponsorship process for his sister , her two children and her grand children two years ago.
The family had fled to Egypt, where they thought it would be a five year wait to be let into Canada. This fall’s change in government cut that wait short.
Two of the arrivals are children and will soon start their Canadian education.
Wattar says they’re excited to see their new school.
“They’re thinking of how the school’s going to look like, and whether they’re going to be able to adapt right away. They’ve seen some picture I’m sure, this is a very beautiful city.”
Church pitches in
North Vancouver’s Canyon Heights Church got involved after one of their Pastors met Mr. Wattar at a coffee shop on Capilano road.
Pastor Steve Moore says lending a helping hand was all about community, not religion.
“This is our neighborhood that has a situation, this is lives, these are people, and it’s our responsibility to do that. I think the Church has taken a bad rap for other reasons but generally the churches have a genuine heart to help people and to be connected to the community. “
Wattar a Muslim says seeking help from a Christian organization was never a concern.