Greetings from the Shalom Group!
Check out the latest update on the Alsahar family, the Syrian family in Lebanon being sponsored by the Shalom Group (representing our shul plus ORH and Adath Shalom).
Update July 11, 2018
We have loads of good news to share with you since the Alsahar family’s arrival in Otttawa just over
a month ago. Shadi and Asmaa and their three young children have been adjusting well to their new lives in Canada. They have been living on a temporary basis in Shadi’s sister Fidaa’s apartment, along with her husband Ziad and two sons – Tarek and Mohammed. Fortunately, we were able to arrange for the rental of a nearby townhome that the family can move into on August 1st. They are extremely excited about the move since their two girls – Doha (7) and Tuqa (4) and their son Oday (3) will have a backyard to play in, all to themselves.
Aside from finding suitable housing for the family, Shalom Group volunteers collected clothing, furniture, and other household items, and the family has since chosen what they needed for themselves and for their new home. Happily, Doha, Tuqa and Oday are now riding bicycles thanks to the generous donations of Ottawa area families.
We have been fortunate to have a couple of excellent Arab speaking interpreters who have been joining us for meetings at the bank, at the English Language Assessment Centre, and at various government service centres where the family has since acquired their OHIP cards and their social insurance numbers. Each member of the family has had their English language abilities assessed, and Shadi is currently enrolled in English language lessons. The children will be taking swimming lessons at the neighbourhood swimming pool this summer.
Speaking of swimming, Doha, Tuqa and Oday experienced swimming for the very first time when both families and the Shalom Group Team leaders got together for a meet and greet BBQ at the home of one our volunteers. With life jackets securely strapped on, all three kids were jumping into the pool in no time at all with huge smiles on their faces.
And finally, one of our volunteers, along with one of our interpreters, brought the entire family downtown for a “tourist day” where they watched the Changing of the Guards at Parliament Hill. And another first for the family – a boat tour on the Ottawa River. Asmaa and Shadi mentioned that it was the first time they had ever set foot on a boat.
We will be sure to bring you more updates in the weeks ahead. The Shalom Group would like to thank the members of our wonderful community who provided financial assistance, allowing for this humanitarian effort to come to fruition.