Rami Al Asfar, his wife Afaf Alakrad, their 3 children and Rami's brother Kassim, were sponsored by a private sponsorship group and are settled in Sydney Mines.
Huda is 10 years old, Ghana is 8, and Mohammed is 6.
Rami and his 6 year old son Mohammed.
Afaf studies English. She also prepares Syrian food and sells it at different venues and for different occasions. She already has orders for "fatayer", a Middle Eastern favorite food, introduced to the area by Lebannese immigrants many years ago, and adopted by the local community as an item to be served at Christmas. She sends the money she makes selling food back to her mother in Syria.
Rami is happy when he is working.
After a few short seasonal jobs, Rami landed a job at a quarry of Northern Excavation Co.
Rami with his boss Gordon.
Rami with John, a co-worker, native of North Sydney.
Kassim's health has improved greatly with the medical help he has received in Canada. He had spent the last years in bed, unable to move and get around. Now he is mobile, much stronger, and his morale and outlook for his future is very positive. In the year and a half he has been in Canada, he has gained a mastery of English.
Kassim goes to the Haley Street Adult Services Centre Society 3 times a week.
Adam Power is the assistant coordinator of the Haley Adult Services Centre.
Kassim works at the wood splitting machine.The wood is then sold as fire wood - one of the centre's income generating projects. Kassim receives a small salary for his work.
Kassim with co-workers at the Haley Street Adult Services Centre.
Huda and her brother Mohammed
Clare Currie, when she heard that a Syrian refugee family would be settling in Sydney Mines, said to her husband: "We are going to love them." And she does. She has become a very close friend of the family. She helps them in many practical ways, but mostly she is just very fond of them. As they are of her.
Claire enjoying Why I Love Nova Scotia with Huda.
Ghana and Huda reading Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
More fun with books, as Mohammed gets into the action.
The Al Asfar children reading with Claire Currie.
We had the privilege and pleasure of being invited to a delicious Syrian dinner.
Saying goodbye, I promised myself I would come back to visit the family next year.
For more information on this project, click here.
All Photographs courtesy of Stephanie Colvey.