Author Topic: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)  (Read 109589 times)

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #350 on: February 14, 2016, 11:58:54 »
I read the same news report, but wasn't certain if there was a good place for discussion on it here.

I think there's a penchant to blow any story involving refugees, especially Muslims, out of proportion.  Social Media is full of stories and comments about giving help and what not to refugees when homeless (and homeless vets) are suffering. Most of those people didn't seem to give a crap about the homeless until it was a convenient argument against refugees, right?

So someone is trying to rip off the system, how is that news?  As I said in my post they're a new family here and they've already realized they can try and buck the system with a false claim. I'm going to guess they, and others in the same boat, realize being a refugee will give them a bit of political clout when it comes to the media or politicians.
When we army types live away from home we're lucky to have heat or a roof that doesn't leak.  If you go to Connaught in Ottawa on a tasking you're instructed to bring your own bed sheets. These people are given free lodging in the form of their own apartment but it's not good enough. Stuff like this effects public support and compassion IMO.
Lastly there seems to be a number of cases where stories of refugees in the news get hidden or pushed to the side. In some places (Sweden, Germany) the government is outright trying to coverup and hide refugee-related problems. It'll be interesting to see if Canada follows the same path.
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #351 on: February 17, 2016, 00:49:06 »
It seems Trudeau's pledge to take in more Syrian refugees overlooked those who came into Canada via the US:

CBC

Quote
Syrian boy seeking refugee status ordered deported to United States
[CBC]

February 15, 2016
A 16-year-old Syrian boy who arrived at the Canadian border at Fort Erie, Ont., claiming refugee status last month was taken into custody and placed in isolation for three weeks in a Toronto detention centre.

Last week, officials with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ordered the boy deported, because by law, Canada no longer accepts refugees who come through the United States.

But his lawyers say the boy is an unaccompanied minor and should be allowed into Canada to claim refugee status.

(...SNIPPED)
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #352 on: February 17, 2016, 06:51:41 »
It seems Trudeau's pledge to take in more Syrian refugees overlooked those who came into Canada via the US:

CBC
I'm sympathetic about the plight of folks who've been f**ked over in Syria, but this causes me pause:
Quote
... Mohammed's family fled Syria for Egypt after the war began. But when Mohammed turned 16, his residency permit in Egypt expired. He faced being sent back to Syria and being conscripted into the military.

Fearing that, his parents flew with him to the United States and then arranged to get him to the Canadian border. They believed Canada's openness to accept Syrian refugees meant he would be safe here while they flew back to Egypt ...
Were they in a refugee camp?  Someplace else?  As usual with media stories, we're not hearing the WHOLE story. 
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #353 on: February 25, 2016, 07:01:18 »
If I'm reading the French correctly, it looks like the CF bases won't be needed after all ...
Quote
À quelques jours de la date butoir que s'était fixée le gouvernement Trudeau pour l'accueil des 25 000 réfugiés syriens, tout porte à croire que les bases militaires rénovées pour leur arrivée ne seront pas utilisées.

À la sortie du caucus libéral mercredi, le ministre de l'Immigration, des Réfugiés et de la Citoyenneté, John McCallum, a indiqué que nous étions au «point où l'on n'aura pas besoin des bases militaires».

En séance de breffage technique un peu plus tôt, des hauts fonctionnaires n'avaient toutefois pas fermé complètement la porte à ce que les bases de Valcartier, près de Québec, et Trenton, en Ontario, soient éventuellement réquisitionnées. Ils excluaient toutefois qu'elles puissent être utilisées cette semaine ...
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #354 on: May 06, 2016, 11:41:56 »
Some giving back ...
Quote
When Rita Khanchet saw images of a vicious wildfire destroying homes and uprooting tens of thousands of people in Fort McMurray, she immediately thought of Syria, the homeland she fled just five months ago with her husband and young son.

Khanchet and her family know first-hand how scary it is to leave a community, home and possessions behind, and she was determined to help the people of Fort McMurray.

“It’s not easy to lose everything. We can understand them more than anyone in Canada. We were in the same situation,” said Khanchet, who lives in Calgary.

“Me and my family wanted to do something for these people. Canadian society helped us when we came to Canada.”

Syrian refugees across Calgary are now giving what little they have to northern Albertans, after Khanchet posted an appeal in Arabic on a private Facebook group the newcomers created and frequent.

“(Canadians) gave us everything. And now it’s time to return the favour,” she wrote.

A fellow Syrian refugee translated and shared Khanchet’s post with a wider community on the Syrian Refugee Support Group page, and within hours offers of help came in from new Canadians determined to give back to their new home.

“All the Syrians are saying, ‘I’m ready to give, I’m ready to give,’ ” said Saima Jamal, a co-founder of the Syrian Refugee Support Group.

“It’s amazing. You have to understand how little these guys have . . . But they understand the idea of an entire city losing their home. That’s something they can easily relate to. They went through that.” ...
Something about having walked a mile in similar shoes ...
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #355 on: June 09, 2016, 20:20:20 »
"Photo op" or "Selfie op" ?  :blotto:

Yahoo Daily Brew

Quote
Language training for refugees no laughing matter, Rempel says
[Daily Brew]

June 7, 2016


BY: Trevor Koroll

A response from Immigration Minister John McCallum may have been hysterical to his colleagues in the House of Commons, but one Tory MP wasn’t laughing.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel questioned McCallum again on Tuesday about funding cuts to language training for refugees.

“Yesterday, when the minister stood here and glibly claimed that he had a plan to address language training, was he looking at these cuts, or was he planning his next photo op?” asked Rempel.

(...SNIPPED)

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #356 on: August 03, 2016, 06:54:07 »
Too bad the slavers couldn't be summarily slaughtered...   >:(

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #357 on: August 13, 2016, 19:28:31 »
Interesting point - shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Quote
Local refugees (in Newfoundland) from South Sudan are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to offer the same concern and support for displaced Sudanese people as the country has for Syria.

Overshadowed by war in Syria, the civil war in South Sudan has displaced over a million people, and resulted in an estimated 300,000 civilian casualties since 2013.

While a peace treaty was signed last August, war has broken out again, prompting the UN to consider intervening. Sudanese-Newfoundlander Benjamin James came to St. John's as a refugee in 2010. He says the sooner the better.

He says as a child he saw things that no child should see, and now he hopes Prime Minister and the people of Canada can speak out and do something to help the people of South Sudan.
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Offline AbdullahD

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #358 on: August 13, 2016, 20:33:28 »
So I didn't feel this little tid bit needed its own thread but a neat little aside... about the character and motivation of the refugees in kamloops.

One Syrian brother (and his family) got work shortly after coming to canada, one of them within 24hrs of getting posted to kamloops. I let one of them know (since we are on good terms) that I am submitting my applicaton for the Canadian forces in the first week of september and he got very excited, he told me that once he was a Canadian citizen his intention is to sign up :)

So I told him I "believe" people with Permanent residence status were good too and I would doubke check and the guy darn near wanted to sign up then and there :)

Now dont get me wrong when thousands of people come, a few bad ones may get in too. But this family at least are not trying to be bumbs on the log.

Had to get it out, a lot of the Syrians feel a lot of love for Canada because of what we have done and want to pay Canada back.

Abdullah

Offline mariomike

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #359 on: August 25, 2016, 13:36:12 »
Aug 25, 2016

Ontario puts another $1.55M to refugee settlement, support
http://www.680news.com/2016/08/25/ontario-puts-another-1-55m-to-refugee-settlement-support/
Ontario is putting another $1.55 million toward refugee supports, including settlement services, mental health care and programming for students.

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #360 on: August 25, 2016, 14:10:39 »
Aug 25, 2016

Ontario puts another $1.55M to refugee settlement, support
http://www.680news.com/2016/08/25/ontario-puts-another-1-55m-to-refugee-settlement-support/
Ontario is putting another $1.55 million toward refugee supports, including settlement services, mental health care and programming for students.

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Offline Bass ackwards

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #361 on: August 25, 2016, 14:15:13 »
Aug 25, 2016

Ontario puts another $1.55M to refugee settlement, support
http://www.680news.com/2016/08/25/ontario-puts-another-1-55m-to-refugee-settlement-support/
Ontario is putting another $1.55 million toward refugee supports, including settlement services, mental health care and programming for students.

I wonder exactly what they mean by programming...

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #362 on: August 25, 2016, 14:32:49 »
I wonder exactly what they mean by programming...

It's Ontario, B A. You don't wanna know...  :)

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #363 on: September 10, 2016, 20:32:46 »

Now and then I read stories about Syrian refugees  upset and being mistreated - like in London a couple months ago blow
http://www.lfpress.com/2016/06/14/londons-cross-cultural-learner-centre-mistreated-refugees-20-just-arrived-syrians-say
Quote
Staff at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) — the agency that settled more than 900 Syrians since December — “did not do their duties as they should,” states the letter.

The complaint goes on to list four examples in which the centre “failed to take care . . . and help,” said the refugees who signed it:

    The hotel many were placed in was understaffed and inadequate
    Medical services were not provided in a timely manner, leaving many kids very ill — “some we would argue were at risk of death”
    The food was “borderline unsuitable for human consumption”
    People have been forced into apartments, often too small for their families, without any choice of location

Few more quick examples.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/syrian-refugees-hotel-toronto-1.3418220
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/syrian-refugees-food-banks-1.3562887
http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2015/09/29/syrian-family-trapped-by-pests.html


I came across the story below about a 19 year old Syrian woman  holding the line so to speak and dying in the process.  It's got me thinking maybe instead of trying to mass settle tens of thousands of refugees (then seemingly forgetting about them) we should have been offering women like Asia Ramazan Antar (and men, of course) more support.



https://www.funker530.com/?s=heroic+19-year&limit=10&ixsl=1
Quote
Heroic 19-Year-Old YPJ Fighter Falls Stopping 3 ISIS SVBIEDs

Nineteen-year-old female YPJ Kurdish fighter Asia Ramazan Antar has been killed while stopping 3 ISIS SVBIEDs advancing on her position.

On September 9, 2016, a heroic YPJ fighter by the name of Asia Ramazan Antar, a light machine gunner, was killed in action. Three Daesh SVBIEDs were advancing on her units position, near the Kurdish front-lines, when she and the rest of her squad stayed in place to defeat them. Two of of the three vehicles were destroyed by the YPJ unit, but the third detonated close to their position, killing Antar immediately according to the YPJ spokeswoman Commander Shirin Abdullah.

Antar was known by western media as the “Kurdish Angelina Jolie,” because of her stunning good looks. Antar however preferred to own this name, not because of her looks, but because of her respect for the Jolie’s own humanitarian missions around the world. She joined the Women’s Protection Unit in 2014, at the age of 17, with the hopes of freeing other women in Syria. Her PKM was never far from her side, and according to the spokeswoman for her unit, she died firing it.
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #364 on: September 10, 2016, 21:09:04 »
I came across the story below about a 19 year old Syrian woman  holding the line so to speak and dying in the process.  It's got me thinking maybe instead of trying to mass settle tens of thousands of refugees (then seemingly forgetting about them) we should have been offering women like Asia Ramazan Antar (and men, of course) more support.

https://www.funker530.com/?s=heroic+19-year&limit=10&ixsl=1
Here's where the "Kurds within Kurds" thing comes in -- the group this woman's fighting with is part of this Kurdish group, which is under this group, which Turkey says is still part of this group, which Canada still lists as a terrorist group.

Clear as mud, right?  ;D
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #365 on: September 11, 2016, 07:51:26 »
Thanks for trying but no  not clear at all lol
What a mess.
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #366 on: September 11, 2016, 07:56:51 »
Thanks for trying but no  not clear at all lol
You're not alone!

What a mess.
Sadly, that part IS clear ...
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #367 on: December 19, 2016, 14:26:54 »
The NY Times shares the story of one family settled in Toronto, with a lot of stuff being sorted out at a lot of levels -- shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42)
Quote
Wonder and Worry, as a Syrian Child Transforms

Canada welcomes Syrian refugees like no other country. But for one 10-year-old’s parents, is she leaving too much behind?

By CATRIN EINHORN and JODI KANTORDEC. 17, 2016

TORONTO — As soon as Bayan Mohammad, a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, arrived here last winter, she began her transformation. In her first hour of ice-skating, she managed to glide on her own. She made fast friends with girls different from any she had ever known. New to competitive sports, she propelled herself down the school track so fast that she was soon collecting ribbons.

Bayan glued herself to the movie “Annie,” the ballet “Cinderella” and episodes of “Wheel of Fortune,” all stories of metamorphosis. As her English went from halting to chatty, she ticked off everything she hungered to do: An overnight school trip. Gymnastics lessons. Building a snowman — no, a snow-woman.

“I just want to be Canadian,” she said.

The volunteers resettling her family — a group of teachers, pediatricians and other friends and neighbors spurred by devastating images of young refugees and casualties of war — watched Bayan with wonder. Her parents, Abdullah and Eman Mohammad, a former grocery store owner and a nurse from a rural village, felt both pride and alarm.

Coming to Canada with their four children, they had braced themselves for the hostility that so many refugees were encountering around the world, including just across the border, where Donald J. Trump warned of the threat posed by Syrian refugees. Instead, they found a national movement to aid them.

As Syria shattered, everyday citizens, called private sponsors, were adopting the newcomers, donating their time and thousands of dollars to help guide them through their first year. The volunteers attended to the family’s every need: an apartment, doctors, tips on finding a mosque and halal food. The sponsors even applied to bring other family members to Canada — and still they wanted to know what more they could do.

The Mohammads were astonished and grateful. But over 10 months, the relationship was reshaping the family, rewriting roles and rules they had always followed. Abdullah and Eman found their marriage on new ground, the fundamental compact between them shifting. Bayan, their oldest child, was going from girl to adolescent, Middle Eastern to North American all at the same time. She was the one most likely to remember their now-obliterated life in Syria. On some days, her parents believed that she could meld her old and new identities; on others, they feared her Syrianness was being erased.

If the family had landed in Munich or Minneapolis, they would have encountered new cultural dilemmas, too. But Canada’s unusual private sponsorship system made them especially acute, because it was so intimate. The Canadians and Syrians were in and out of one another’s homes for tutoring, computer lessons or celebrations. They shared parental tasks like communication with teachers, since the Mohammads spoke little English. “What they gave us, a brother wouldn’t even give to his own brother,” Mr. Mohammad said.

Still, when one sponsor took the children to a ballet performance, Bayan twirled her way home and then begged for lessons — which would involve revealing outfits that would make her parents uncomfortable. The sponsors invited the children to make gingerbread houses and sing carols. Did saying yes mean that the strict Muslim family would be celebrating a Christian holiday?

“Sponsorship brings the tension between East and West so close,” said Sam Nammoura, a Syrian-Canadian refugee advocate in Calgary, Alberta.

The Mohammads had left Syria and then Jordan to safeguard their children — but once they arrived here, they were bewildered by what they found. Why were teenagers here allowed to stay out past midnight? Did children move away from home at 18 and never look back? How much control did parents even have?

“Every day I have this dilemma,” Mrs. Mohammad said. “Am I letting the kids do the right thing?”

In October, Bayan craved one item above all on her wish list: to join her school’s overnight trip. For three days at the end of the month, the whole fifth grade would travel to an island in Toronto’s harbor, exploring, conducting science experiments and sleeping in dorms.

“I want to go but my dad said no,” Bayan said over a family lunch of chicken and stuffed cabbage rolls.

Her parents felt their children belonged at home; they had never been on a sleepover.

“I want to go!” Bayan repeated. “I’m sad because my best friends are going.” By Canadian or American standards, she was being polite: no eye-rolling or accusations.

But in Syria, children are bound to respect the authority of their parents, even in adulthood. The rule had governed the Mohammad family for generations, backed up by relatives, friends, an entire culture. Within months of arriving in Canada, Bayan shocked her parents by beginning to question their decisions out loud.

“She’s stronger now, here, and she tries to express herself more than in Syria,” her mother explained.

Bayan knew she had a quiet ally at the lunch table that day: Kerry McLorg, the organizer of the sponsor group. Meticulous and restrained, Ms. McLorg never wanted to push the Mohammads, and when they asked for her advice, she tended to answer with clinical distance, lest her own preferences show.

But she knew Bayan yearned for the adventure. She and the other sponsors saw it as another step in the girl’s integration into Canada. Her two children had gone on the trip years ago and still talked about the traditions — visiting a lighthouse, telling ghost stories.

“Every kid in Toronto does this,” Ms. McLorg had told Bayan’s parents when they had asked. “Academically, it’s not important. But socially, it is very important.”

Mr. Mohammad told Bayan again: No trip. He was not an immigrant who set out to adapt to a new world; he was a refugee trying to hold on to what had been ripped from him. “We’re forced to be here,” Mr. Mohammad said later. “We’re happy, but we’re forced to be here.”

He still had a shot at preserving the identity he wanted for Bayan, but he and his wife would have to be vigilant, willing to deny their daughter some of what she wanted.

“I will do this for her,” he said. “God help us.”

Shifting Family Dynamics

Only one thing about Canada seemed to disconcert Bayan: its types of families she had never seen or even imagined. She was troubled by the concept of divorce, by classmates whose parents lived in separate homes. “My mom and dad, they will not do that,” she declared.

The Mohammads were from a particularly conservative village in Daraa Province. Their union was arranged by their families and governed by clear tenets. Back home, Eman Mohammad, 36, did not leave the house without asking her husband’s permission. She did not socialize with men who were not relatives. Women in the village did not drive. Against the odds, and Abdullah’s initial reluctance, she had worked as a nurse, one of only a few women in her circle to be employed outside the home after having children.

Now she was far more at home in Canada than he was. She attended her first modern dance performance, thrilled by the surprise and emotion. When her husband, 36, turned down a supermarket job this summer, unsure of what kind of work he wanted, she joked that she would take it. She was determined to get certified as a nurse again, even though that would require years of language instruction and coursework.

Meanwhile, she found new purpose: helping lead a therapy group for Syrian women coping with trauma and displacement. Standing in front of a whiteboard, she peppered her presentations with motivational statements: “Nothing is impossible.” “When we work, we are helping society around us, not ourselves alone.” She earned about 70 Canadian dollars for each weekly session.

Being in Canada “opened new doors for me that I didn’t even know existed,” Mrs. Mohammad said.

Her husband, however, was having difficulty. In Syria, he co-owned a grocery store and two butcher shops, and had been the unquestioned head of the household. Now the sponsors were helping support his family, along with government subsidies. While his wife went to one of the therapy groups, he took care of Bayan and the younger children, and he had been helping in the kitchen.

“Sometimes I feel weak doing these things,” he said. “It’s a woman’s job.” He told himself that spending more time with his children would draw them closer.

Bayan had ambitions for her father: to learn to swim, to drive, to buy a car with six seats. “I dream, like, all the time we have a big house and a pool,” she said.

But Mr. Mohammad was nowhere near finding work that could support a family of six in an expensive city, and he felt torn about whether he should continue to study English full time or just get the best job he could. “I feel lost,” he had said. Because his wife’s language skills were better, he sometimes was left out of conversations. (The Mohammads asked not to be identified by their full surnames, because they feared reprisals against relatives still in Syria. This article uses part of their family name.)

If Syria heals, Mr. Mohammad said, he definitely wants to go back.

His wife countered: “My future and my kids’ future is in this country.”

We have been reporting on Canada's unusual welcome of Syrian refugees for nearly a year, paying frequent visits to the Mohammad family, the volunteers helping them, and other Syrians and Canadians involved in private sponsorship.

Then they laughed. The marriages of many Syrians who had come to Canada were far more strained, they knew, the traditional arrangements difficult to replant on new soil. Mrs. Mohammad’s counseling groups were filled with women whose husbands had turned bitter at the changed circumstances. Some wives were finally reporting years of domestic abuse.

The Mohammads tried to mitigate their differences with kindness. She found ways to telegraph respect for her husband’s authority — before buying a new dress, she texted him a photo and the price for approval. For fortitude with child care duties, he turned to Islamic teachings about the value of helping one’s wife. The two had long conversations about a new favorite word, “flexibility.”

Even as Eman Mohammad craved opportunities for herself, she was not sure how much freedom she wanted for Bayan. In Syria, the path was restrictive but clear. If the war had never happened, she would already be wearing a head scarf and attending a girls’ school. Most girls in her village married at 14 or 15, though the Mohammads would have waited until at least 18. Even if she pursued university there, she would not go on unsupervised dates, get offered a beer at a party, or live alone.

Now that she was in Canada, her mother felt, there was no longer a map for her daughter’s life. “I want to try everything here,” Bayan said.

On the day of the school trip, with her classmates off on Toronto Island in a freezing rain, the family moved on to their next cultural debate.

“What is the meaning of Halloween?” Mrs. Mohammad asked. The holiday was four days away.

Bayan burst with answers. It was about being frightened in a fun way, she said, dressing as skeletons and ghosts. “It has to be something scary,” she explained. She wanted to wear a devil costume.

One of the sponsors had already arranged to take them trick-or-treating. But what Mrs. Mohammad had heard about the holiday made her dubious. Her children would celebrate death and horror, after they had escaped the real thing? Should she worry that her daughter wanted to dress as a symbol of evil? Did Canadians really believe in people coming back from the dead?

Just then, Ms. McLorg arrived at the family’s apartment with a giant pumpkin for the children to carve. Bayan had asked Ms. McLorg to join them for the coming trick-or-treat date, but the sponsor did not realize how Mrs. Mohammad felt.

Ms. McLorg was trying to introduce Canadian customs without imposing on the family’s own. “They should not have to change their essence in order to become Canadian,” Ms. McLorg said later. In fact, the country officially encourages new arrivals to maintain their own culture.

In the end, they all celebrated Halloween. Another sponsor hosted them for dinner and cookies: long slivers of shortbread with red icing and almond nails, meant to look like bloody fingers. Ms. McLorg arrived in a pink bunny suit. On the costume question, Bayan and her mother had reached a middle ground: a zombie princess.

Abdullah Mohammad headed home early; Bayan pleaded to stay later. Her mother surveyed the spiderwebs and chains lacing the street, watching her children merge into the flowing highway of trick-or-treaters.

Memories of Home

Two weeks later, Mrs. Mohammad and her two daughters were propelled into a local Walmart by Bayan’s sheer force of will. She longed for a pair of sparkly purple sneakers, and begged, nagged and nearly cried until her mother agreed.

As they navigated the aisles, mother and daughters looked like members of two different families. Mrs. Mohammad wore her head scarf, neck-to-toe gown and shawl, while the girls were in leggings and skinny jeans.

The question about when Bayan would start covering her head loomed over her and her parents. As they were in Canada, her mother was willing to postpone it until seventh grade.

“No!” Bayan yelled when she overheard her mother talking about it. She looked ugly with her head covered, she thought. “When I’m in grade nine — maybe,” she said.

But the next day, Bayan and her mother slipped inside a building a few blocks from their apartment, where the 10-year-old kicked off the brand-new sneakers and knelt. Her mother draped a thin scarf over her daughter’s head, expertly folding, tucking and pinning until it covered her hair without a strand showing.

This was Islamic school at the mosque, a new fixture of Bayan’s Sundays. For several hours, she studied written Arabic, verses of the Quran and Islamic values with other children. It was the only activity of hers that the sponsors had not been involved in planning; that day, they were taking the rest of the family to a Santa parade, which Bayan was disappointed to miss.

Sunday mornings were a compromise between Bayan and her parents: the single time each week, for now, that she would cover her head.

For the main lesson that day, the teacher, Maimoonah Ali, an 18-year-old whose parents came to Canada as refugees from Eritrea, passed out colored Popsicle sticks and instructed the students to snap them. The sound of splintering wood filled the room. “Sometimes there are tests in life,” she told the children. “And sometimes they break us.”

Then she collected the remaining sticks into a tight bundle. One by one, the students strained and failed to break them. “It’s really, really difficult to break things when they’re all together, right?” Ms. Ali asked. “And that’s exactly like us.”

But it was not clear how much the class was going to do to help secure Bayan’s Syrian identity. In English, she could read at “Cat in the Hat” level, but her Arabic reading was worse, because the war had interrupted her schooling. Bayan was supposed to repeat the verses that a classmate was saying that day, but her partner did not speak Arabic, and Bayan could barely understand her. She was the only Syrian in the school.

Other classmates’ parents came from Algeria, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Mali. Half the population of Toronto is foreign-born, a reflection of Canada’s openness to immigrants. In her apartment building, Bayan has friends whose families are from Israel and China.

When her father picked her up, she could not take off her hijab fast enough. During lunch at home, as she chatted in English, he interjected: “Arabic!” She continued in a mix of both.

When she talked about the stick exercise, her father gave a look of recognition. “I was Bayan’s age when they told me the same story,” he said.

Their childhoods seemed so disconnected from one another’s. The family left Syria when Bayan was 7 or 8 — they had foundered in Jordan before coming to Canada — and her memories of the home where her family had lived for three generations were dimming.

She could picture playing hide-and-seek with her cousins by the fountain and grapevines in the courtyard, and recall the way an adjacent garden produced enough mint for the whole neighborhood. But Bayan and her sister could no longer agree on how many olive trees stood there: 20? 100? (Eight, their mother said.)

After the Mohammads left Syria, the house next door was shelled or bombed and collapsed on their own home. It was ruined now, the second story gone. The sponsors helped them use Google Maps to try to find what was left, but no one could quite pinpoint it.

“I love that house,” Bayan had said a few days before.

Suddenly, her confidence and determination kicked in.

“We’re going to build it,” she said. “My siblings. All of us.”
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline PuckChaser

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #368 on: December 25, 2016, 16:40:26 »
Frontloaded Syrian refugees for the good press, Liberal government imposing hard cap of 1,000 privately sponsored Syrians coming to Canada next year as an early Christmas present:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/24/ottawas-new-cap-on-refugee-applications-upsets-sponsors.html

Quote
Ottawa’s new cap on refugee applications upsets sponsors

Private sponsors fear new 1,000-application limit for 2017 will prevent many refugees from escaping danger of war-torn Syria.
Sat., Dec. 24, 2016

The federal government will cap new applications for private sponsorship of Syrian and Iraqi refugees at 1,000 in 2017, due to a backlog and long wait times faced by those whose applications are still being processed.

But some feel the move, announced earlier this week by Citizenship and Immigration Minister John McCallum, betrays the positive global perception Canada has seen since late last year when the Liberals took office and committed to accepting more refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria.

“The government’s playing politics here, on the one hand saying we should be celebrated for being welcoming, and then on the other hand stopping people from being able to get to safety,” said Lesley Wood, a sociology professor at York University who has sponsored two Syrian refugee families.

The government’s policy, which came into effect Dec. 19, places a limit of 1,000 sponsorship applications for the next year by groups of five people or more and community sponsors such as organizations.

It “forms part of a broader strategy to address the large backlog and long wait times in the Privately Sponsored Refugees category,” according to the government.

Nearly 39,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada since November 2015, of which 13,700 have been privately sponsored. But Canada4Refugees, which represents private sponsorship groups, estimated earlier this month fewer than one-third of refugees who applied before April have arrived in Canada, with more than 5,000 applications still being processed.

Wood helped sponsor a family of six who are from near Aleppo and arrived in Canada this past June. The Syrian government took full control of the city, once the stronghold of the rebellion, on Thursday, marking President Bashar Assad’s most significant victory over opposition fighters since the uprising began five years ago.

“They’re worried about their family members,” said Wood. “We’re just starting a new sponsorship to try and raise the money for the woman’s sister, who’s got six kids, so a family of eight. News like this makes us wonder whether we’re going to be able to bring her and her kids. It’s absurd.”

Wood also helped sponsor a second family of four individuals who lost two children in the war. However, she said, they are stuck right now in Jordan because their applications haven’t been processed.

“We were expecting them a year ago, so even when the numbers were moving fast, they weren’t moving fast enough for people whose lives are in danger,” she said.

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #369 on: December 25, 2016, 16:48:10 »
Who can blame the hair?  The selfie cow on this issue must be just about milked dry by now.

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #370 on: December 25, 2016, 17:42:02 »
Quote
prevent many refugees from escaping danger of war-torn Syria.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the refugees we accepted were not dodging AK fire while running to get on airplanes. They were in UN refugee camps for years. And give or take, less than 3000 of the some 30'000 initially didnèt even want to come to Canada.  Some had to wait until their property and effects were sold.

Hardly life or death.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 18:09:53 by Jarnhamar »
There are no wolves on Fenris

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #371 on: December 25, 2016, 17:51:06 »
I still see that so many are not making the distinction between refugees and immigrants.  Refugees, as I understand it are fleeing the fighting until such time as it is safe to return home.  Immigrants are intentionally moving, for whatever reasons, to make homes in a new country and become citizens of that new country.  If we are talking about bringing in refugees, then what is the Government plan to return them to their homes at a future date when it will be safe to do so?
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #372 on: December 25, 2016, 21:28:35 »
I still see that so many are not making the distinction between refugees and immigrants.  Refugees, as I understand it are fleeing the fighting until such time as it is safe to return home.  Immigrants are intentionally moving, for whatever reasons, to make homes in a new country and become citizens of that new country.  If we are talking about bringing in refugees, then what is the Government plan to return them to their homes at a future date when it will be safe to do so?

Nowhere does it state that the intent is to send them back.  Both refugees and immigrants are treated with the goal of integration.  The distinction is limited as to the why they are leaving their country to come to Canada.   

This is from the CIC web site.

Canada’s resettlement programs are respected internationally because they provide permanent residence as a long term solution.

More here at the site that explains Canada's refugee system.  There is no mention of returning them at any point.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/refugees/canada.asp

Optio

Offline George Wallace

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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #373 on: December 26, 2016, 06:17:38 »
Nowhere does it state that the intent is to send them back.  Both refugees and immigrants are treated with the goal of integration.  The distinction is limited as to the why they are leaving their country to come to Canada.   

This is from the CIC web site.

Canada’s resettlement programs are respected internationally because they provide permanent residence as a long term solution.

More here at the site that explains Canada's refugee system.  There is no mention of returning them at any point.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/refugees/canada.asp

And Remius, you confirm my statement.
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Re: SYR Refugees to Canada (split fm SYR refugees thread)
« Reply #374 on: December 26, 2016, 08:20:35 »
I still see that so many are not making the distinction between refugees and immigrants.  Refugees, as I understand it are fleeing the fighting until such time as it is safe to return home.  Immigrants are intentionally moving, for whatever reasons, to make homes in a new country and become citizens of that new country.  If we are talking about bringing in refugees, then what is the Government plan to return them to their homes at a future date when it will be safe to do so?


The notion that refugees wanted to return home was never enshrined in law ... it existed, as something more than just an idea, prior to the 1940s, but the situation of millions of "displaced persons" in Europe in 1945 put paid to any thought of making "return" part of the equation ~ except, of course, for the Palestinians where the "right of return" is a major political tool.

In a perfect world refugees should be cared for in safe, well managed, places of refuge near their homes ... where and when numbers permit. But how in hell do we "manage" hundreds of thousands of refugees (small cities, actually) in e.g. Dadaab in Kenya, Dollo Ado in Ethiopia or Al Zaatri in Jordan? Do we really believe we can resettle everyone back to Somalia or Syria? But, equally, how many of those refugees are "ready" to adapt to life in Australia or Belgium or Canada? Do we make things better by resettling people here or should we spend billions to make the camps better, safer and so on?
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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