30 newcomer families shared stories of their life in Canada
By Radhika Panjwani, Mississauga News
Dozens of Syrian refugees that arrived in Canada a year ago and moved to different communities across Ontario came together Saturday, Feb. 11 in Mississauga to break bread and share stories.
The event, courtesy of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief Canada, at Maple Banquet near Eglinton Avenue East and Dixie Road saw more than 200 people participate in workshops, speeches and fun activities for families.
ICNA Relief hosted a gathering of sponsored Syrian refugee families at Maple Banquet Hall in Mississauga Saturday. The Rahal familiy (seated) with the Milton Friends of Syria, one of the sponsoring groups. Feb 11, 2017.
In 2015, Mississauga-headquartered ICNA Relief Canada launched its campaign to bring 100 Syrian families to Canada. So, far 30 families consisting of some 97 individuals call Canada home.
The first family, which arrived last year, settled in Mississauga, while remaining 29 moved to Brampton, Chatham, Oakville and other places, explained Abu Noman Tarek, Syrian refugee sponsorship coordinator, ICNA Relief Canada.
“Today (Saturday, Feb. 11) we welcomed all 30 families, their sponsors, some settlement agencies to Mississauga under one roof so that they can meet one another and share their joy,” he said. “At the same time, we also wanted to give the refugees an opportunity to say ‘thank you,’ to their sponsors.”
Parents and youngsters each attended a workshop in Arabic. The parents were given a quick refresher on parenting in Canada, while the youngsters heard how they could become strong and positive role models.
“In both the workshops, we heard about the barriers around language and culture the newcomers face,” Tarek said. “The facilitators at the workshop addressed some of their challenges and provided the newcomers with solutions on dealing with them. The refugee families were told to learn, understand and appreciate a different perspective.”
Jim Estill, CEO of Danby Appliance in Guelph, Ont. delivered the keynote address. Estill has pledged to bring 50 Syrian families to Canada and has agreed to footing the $1 million bill.
Lunch included a blend of middle-eastern delicacies such as Hummus, salad and Falafel as well as South Asian favourites like Naan bread, tandoori chicken, kabobs and more.
For more information visit, www.icnareliefcanada.ca
Article Courtesy: Brampton Guardian