Month: March 2017

All smiles as members work on sponsorship

Photographed above: HSAA member Ayed Saad enjoys a Canadian experience – Tim Hortons. “A smile is the shortest distance between two people.” Victor Borge, 1909-2000, Danish and American musician and humorist. He was also a refugee from war. As a Danish Jew, he fled when the Germans invaded Denmark. He arrived in the U.S. with only $20. Smiles may be the furthest thing from our minds when we think of Syrian refugees fleeing from war, but they may prove…

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Welcome home: Unions exist to help everyone – including a Syrian family seeking safety in Alberta

The following guest opinion column was published in the Edmonton Journal on Jan. 3, 2017. The family, originally expected to arrive in October, finally made it to Calgary after Christmas. Photographed above is the family of four being welcomed by HSAA members and supporters. Photographed below is Social Justice Committee chair Faika Satterthwaite hugging one of the children.   This week, a Syrian refugee family of four arrives in Alberta to begin a new, safe life…

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Safety fears unfounded after extreme vetting

Worried about bringing Syrian refugees to Canada from Lebanon? Don’t be, says Sam Nammoura, co-founder of the volunteer Syrian Refugees Support Group. This family hasn’t just been screened, it’s been “extreme vetted” three times. The first vetting was by Lebanese security. “They have their own way of [determining] who is coming in, who they are, who they are associated with. If there is anybody who might cause a threat to Lebanon, they will be removed or…

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