Some members of Madawaska Valley Friends of New Canadians (MVFONC) travelled to Ottawa airport to meet the Alshhadat family arriving on Valentine’s Day from Jordan. Ayman Alshhadat, his wife Marah and their children (Imad 5 years, Sedrat 3 years, Mays 1 year) were at last reunited with members of Ayman’s family who are already established in Ottawa. The smiling faces in the photo above tell the story of a happy reunion.
MVFONC told The Current that after waiting for more than two years in a camp in Jordan for Syrian refugees, the Alshhadats and their sponsors received just two weeks’ notice of their travel arrangements. The family of five had a very long journey – first overland to Cairo, then a flight to Toronto where Immigration welcomed them to Canada, and finally they flew to Ottawa.
MVFONC asked to sponsor a family that already has relatives established in the region, based on advice that there is a greater likelihood of successfully settling refugee families when they have close relatives nearby. The Alshhadat family will soon arrive in Barry’s Bay and MVFONC asks everyone to give them a warm Valley welcome.
Above: Alsshadat family surrounded by relatives. Front: Imad gives a peace sign while his sister Sedrat hides behind him. Rear: Ayman (second from left), Marah (in centre holding flowers), a relative hugs toddler Mays at right. Photo submitted by MV Friends of New Canadians