“My brother and I came to Turkey, back in June 2015. We had to leave. If we didn’t go, I would have had to fight in the military. That would have been even more difficult for me because I am a Christian. In Syria, Daesh attacks Christians. It was very, very hard to be a Christian in Syria. I lived in a Christian area and bombs were dropped all the time near us. In my small town, over 30 Christians were bombed before we left. Who can live like that? So we came to Turkey.”
“My people are Syriac – part of ancient Christianity. In Turkey, we stayed in the Syriac church in Istanbul. I want to thank them as it was like a big home for us here in Turkey. They helped us so much and I could not have lived without their help. I did try to find work, but it is hard being both a Syrian and a Christian. No one would hire me. ”
“In Syria, I studied to be an electrical engineer. When the war started, I had to stop my studies. I have some certificates, but I need to finish my degree. My aunt already lives in Canada, and her church is sponsoring my brother and I to go there. I am so happy to fly to Canada today. I have family there and I will study again, finally.”
“Over a hundred years ago, my people had to flee Turkey to Syria for safety. Now, 100 years later, my brother and I are immigrating to Canada for safety.”
Jacob was one of the 284 Syrians on first flight departing Turkey for Canada in 2016.