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Abdelsater and his family of eight are hopeful they will be counted as among the 25,000 Syrian refugees who are migrating to Canada in the next months. He shares his story at the Canadian resettlement facility in Amman, Jordan.
“We have been in Irbid, Jordan for more than three years now, and it feels like our life has been paused since we arrived.
“My father was a chef, and for many years in Homs I had a shawarma shop with my brother. Since the war broke out in Syria, and we had to leave to Irbid, I haven’t been able to practice my trade. We had to move out of town because the rent was too expensive and my children had to leave school.
“We were so relieved when we heard we had the chance to go to Canada. On the news, we see so many people dying while crossing the Mediterranean in boats. They will do anything to get to Europe and have a second chance at life. This way seems much better: to be able to go legally and by airplane.
“We saw people on television in Canada demanding that their government take in refugees like us.It shows the generosity of the Canadian people. We think of Canada as a parent who is taking care of children and keeping the family together.
“As Syrians, we can be respected and taken care of by an organized effort that will help us reach safety. We don’t have to throw ourselves in a boat and risk death to take our chance of a new life. I don’t want to beg anyone. I look forward to finding work in Canada, doing whatever I can to give back.
“Before the war, we were dignified in our country. I strongly feel that this process gives us a sense of dignity we haven’t had since we left Syria. I know life will be difficult at first in our new home, but we will learn English and do our best to adapt. My children can go to school again and have a good future.”
Photo credit: IOM/Muse Mohammed