There is a great article in the Chronicle Herald about Ziad’s work at Station One restaurant. If you haven’t had a chance, check out the great Syrian food they are serving up!
Cole Harbour Cares received word in April that the family of Ziad, Israa, Jana, Mona and Mahmoud had cleared all their interviews and security checks and were scheduled to arrive in Halifax on May 17th 2019.
First order of business was to find a 3 bedroom apartment which proved to be almost impossible. There is a terrible shortage of suitable apartments in Halifax/Dartmouth area and we were very fortunate to hear of one becoming available on Portland Street in Dartmouth on May 1st. Thanks to the generosity of many people, we were able to fully furnish the apartment prior to the family’s arrival.
It was a stressful time leading up to May 17th because we were not sure if the Lebanese authorities would allow the family to leave but when we heard they were on an Air Canada flight from Istanbul to Toronto we started to celebrate.
There were 20 Cole Harbour Cares members and 7 or 8 children waiting for the family to arrive. Words cannot describe what a joyful feeling it was to see them come through to the arrivals lounge at Halifax airport. Their smiles said everything.
They are starting to settle in. They understand most of what we say and they are very keen to learn English. They now have a bank account and Nova Scotia documentation. Jana and Mona are ready to start attending Hawthorne school at the end of May. Ziad and Israa will be going for English testing at ISANS and will be assigned an appropriate English level in the near future.
Ziad is eager to start working at Station 1 restaurant in Tacoma. Please pop in and see him. He loves to meet all his new Canadian friends.
Cole Harbour Cares members are visiting the family regularly to help them learn conversational English.
Thank you to all our many supporters. We know you kept the family in your hearts and prayers. They are so grateful for another chance at life and so happy to finally be living in Canada
It has been some time since the last post from Cole Harbour Cares. We would like to keep you up-to-date with the status of the next refugee family the group is sponsoring. And an update about the Kilani family whom are now settled into life in Dartmouth.
The Al-Asadi family are still living in Lebanon. Due to their perilous situation, Cole Harbour Cares has been sending the family money periodically to survive. Because Ziad is a refugee, he is unable to work and is constantly worried about being picked up by the authorities and sent back to Syria. Every man under the age of 50 is being conscripted into the Syrian army so Ziad spends most of his time in his home. His two daughters have started attending school. Jana, the older daughter has been kept back a grade due to lack of schooling over the last two years but Mona, the younger daughter is in the correct grade. The wait time for sponsored refugees from Lebanon is now an average of 22 months which means that if the family passes all their screening interviews they will hopefully arrive in the fall of 2019. Thankfully, the cook position at a local Middle Eastern restaurant, Station 1, is still being held for him.
Our first Syrian family, the Kilanis, continue to thrive in Dartmouth. Mohamed has a full time job with Sunsel technologies and the three children are doing well in school. Fares, who is almost 16 years old, has started a part time job and has been chosen to play soccer for his school team. Tala and Taim are doing well in elementary school and Taghreed, the mother, is attending English classes and has learnt to drive.
Cole Harbour Cares is preparing to sponsor a second Syrian family. The Alasadi family is made up of Father, Ziad Alasadi (38), Mother, Israa (28), daughters Jana (9), Mona (5), and a seven month old baby boy. The Alasadi family is currently living illegally in Lebanon, sharing a three bedroom house with three other families. Since they are illegally living in Lebanon, Ziad is not allowed to work and the children are not allowed to attend school.
The Canadian Government has approved their application and the family is waiting to be called to Beirut for medical and security interviews. Once they pass the interviews they will be given plane tickets to come to Canada. If everything goes as planned and based on our previous experience we expect the Alasadi family to arrive in Halifax around February or March 2018.
To help get us started with preparations we are putting the call out for gently used household items. To avoid paying for storage we request you to hold onto the items until we finalize an apartment for the family. A list of the required items is posted online and can be viewed using this spreadsheet.
The call to donate is going out to members of the four churches that are participating in this sponsorship and as people commit to donating an item, the online list will be updated. If you have any items that you can donate, please email Karen Watts or Jeanne Manning Stright.
Thank you for your support!
After many months of preparation and with the generosity of the congregations at Cole Harbour Woodside United and the Anglican Church of St. Andrew in Cole Harbour, Cole Harbour Cares welcomed the Kilani family to Nova Scotia on July 21, 2016. Mohamad, Taghreed and their three children, Fares, 14, Tala,10 and Taim, 5, are now settled in a three bedroom apartment near Southdale North Woodside School in central Dartmouth.
Our volunteers have helped with lease-signing, apartment set-up, translating, utility hook-ups, new winter clothing, school supplies and much more. We’ve assisted with school registration, transportation, appointments for vision, dental and medical care and visits to the Mosque.
The Kilanis have busy lives. As well as attending school, the children are involved in soccer, violin and swim programs. Taim is enrolled in the daycare program at the language training school where Mohomad and Taghreed are taking English lessons. Mohamad is eager to find employment in the field of electronics and small appliance repair.
Through the continuing generosity of members of Cole Harbour Woodside United Church, we’ve also been able to pay off the travel loan the Government of Canada requires refugees to pay: the cost of their airline tickets to Canada and medical examinations before they were clear to come to Canada – almost $6700.
Sponsoring the Kilanis has been a huge gift for us all as our volunteers have forged deep friendships with this wonderful family that will last long after our official sponsorship ends in July 2017.