Our Syrian refugee family – mother
Samar, father Ubaydah and four-year-old son Faruq – touched down at the
Victoria airport on Thursday, September 22 at 10:30 p.m. At long last.
Ubaydah’s sister and her excited young
sons, carrying roses, were the first to greet the family. Immediately
after, Samar and Ubaydah, with warm smiles, walked towards our welcoming group, shaking hands and kissing each of us
in turn. We were asked by the
Intercultural Association (our sponsor agency) not to take pictures, but the
quintessential moment was definitely that of Ubaydah and Rabbi Harry in a long
As Rabbi Harry said, “It
was amazing to feel the warmth of the family and the palpable sense of hope and ḥen (grace).“ Without a
common language, in a matter of a few minutes, we all felt a real sense of
Following this momentous
arrival, the family was driven to their bright, beautiful apartment. which our
group furnished and outfitted with great care and respect. In the next
few days, members of our group have been
helping with immediate needs: bank account,
phone service and internet, food
shopping and the like.
Our support of the
family has only just begun as we continue in the days ahead to ensure the
family’s well-being over the next year.
So much of this effort
has been made possible through the extraordinary generosity and caring of
Congregation Emanu-El and the community. To each and every one who has
contributed in a myriad of ways…our sincere gratitude.