Syrian refugees don't all get an equal start in Canada
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The table has been laid with home-made pita bread, falafel, and fatteh — a Syrian dish of yogurt and chickpeas. 

Mohammad Almostafa and Heba Alzouabi sit down, a little shyly, as if embarrassed that all this fuss is for them. 

The Syrian refugees, along with their baby daughter Jana, are being treated to lunch at a neighbour's home, in their new community of Abbotsford. 

It's just one of the welcoming activities planned for the young family by their sponsors at the Interfaith Refugee Project."When we first were made aware of our moving to Canada we didn't know what to expect," Almostafa said through an interpreter. 

It wasn't until the family landed on Jan. 29 that they realized there would be a network of 25 people looking out for their every need as they settle in Canada.  "They had a poster and it was written, 'Welcome to Canada' in Arabic and in English. It had my name, it had my wife's name and Jana's name as well ... It was a happy moment for us."

The sponsorship group includes retired doctors, ESL teachers, a finance committee and a local mom collecting toys. Within a week, they'd settled the family in a garden-level apartment, and someone checks in on them most days. 

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Source: CBC