Syrian Refugee Project
e have received word from the Canadian government that this family will be arriving in Canada on December 20th. We are beyond excited by this updated! Please consider donating so that all their needs will be adequately met upon arrival.
For nearly four years a civil war has been ravaging the nation of Syria. The conflict has claimed nearly 200,000 lives, and turned over three million Syrian people into refugees.
Fatima* is one of those people.
Fatima's brother, Hisham, immigrated to Canada in 1987, and is a successful businessman in Vancouver. A neighbour and friend of Canyon Heights, he shared his sister's story with us and asked for our help.
Born in Syria, Fatima is a sister, grandmother, and mother; she is also a hero, and a survivor.
She is one of three million refugees, and this is her story.
*all names have been changed to protect those involved.
My country, Syria, is undergoing a civil war and it is no longer safe for the people to live there. My family and I have had to seek protection outside Syria in order for us to live. My youngest son, Ali had been put on a wanted list by the Syrian regime, which has impacted us directly.
Shortly after, the Syrian regime raided our house by throwing our belongings everywhere causing them to break. These men were armed with guns. During this time, one of my daughters, Yesenia, a widow, and her 2 children, ages eight and five, moved into my house in Damascus because their house was in ruins due to the bombing. Our living room was a mess because these men threw our furniture and other items around in their anger. My family and I were terrified and thought they would kill us. We are a family of women as my husband passed away and my two sons were not home. They demanded Ali give himself up. We all knew that if that were to happen Ali would be placed under a tremendous amount of torture and potential death.
""Our human rights had been violated....no one could help us"
When my house was raided I had my two daughters. We knew we would no longer be safe, and the stability and security in Syria was deteriorating. It was the Syrian regime, the authorities themselves, that were attacking our personal space. Seeking protection from them was out of the question. Our human rights have been violated such that my grandchildren could no longer attend school and the police were not providing safety measures for keeping peace on the streets. No one could help us, not even the police officials because Ali was a on a wanted list. We feared for our lives.
""We fear for our lives and for the safety of our children"
The military Syrian regime kept raiding the house in the middle of the night, harassing my family and I. We heard many horrific stories about those groups of people raping and torturing women and children. Therefore we feared for our lives and for the safety of the children, and decided to get out permanently and headed towards Egypt. We left Damascus on September 22, 2012 via Beirut, Lebanon since the Damascus airport was no longer safe to travel through. We took a cab from Damascus to Beirut. From Beirut, we flew to Cairo, Egypt. Although we arrived in Egypt peacefully, we were indeed in for new troubles since the children were not welcomed in the schools of Egypt. They were harassed and did not fit in to the Egyptian culture. Then July 2013 another revolution started in Egypt and that left us even more unwanted and unwelcomed.
"We truly have run out of solutions"
There is no prospect of return to Syria. We are a family of women, me, my two daughters and two grandchildren. It is extremely difficult to integrate in Egyptian society when we are not welcomed in the first place. After all these circumstances, we truly have run out of solutions. The only hope for us in life is to rejoin with our entire family in Canada. My mother, two brothers, and one sister, all have lived in Canada since the 1990's and are all Canadian Citizens.
We are asking that the Canadian government and the Canadian people, who are known for their generosity, are advocates for human rights, and show compassion for all others no matter what race or religion, to please help us find a safe place to call home.
In cooperation with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and Best Falafel (owned by Hisham, Fatima's brother), we are working to bring these five incredible women and children to Vancouver. Here they will have the safety, support and freedom needed to start a new life.
We have already received approval from the Canadian Government to proceed with the process of bringing them to Canada; we are now working towards gathering the necessary funds required to do so. We need to raise $50,000 in order to make their new life a reality.
We can't do this alone; we need your help. If you would like to donate, please do so using the link below - all donations are fully tax-receiptable.
Finally, please share their story with as many people as you can; it is a message that needs to be heard.
Together, we can provide a new life and a restored hope for these five heroes.