SASKATOON – Mohammad Al-Moqdad says he never thought he would see his sister and her family again. After being separated by the war in Syria, both of them looked for refuge in different countries.
On Wednesday, they were reunited in a packed airport arrivals lounge in Saskatoon.
“These are tears of happiness,” said Al-Moqdad in Arabic.
The last time he saw his sister was four years ago, before he had his two kids. After that, she went to Lebanon while he went to Jordan.
Saskatchewan indigenous groups look to build bonds with refugees
Government to start making sponsored Syrian refugees pay travel costs
Saskatchewan takes in more refugees than expected; focus now on resettlement
“It’s really disappointing what’s happening in Syria. Here it’s safe. It’s secure here,” said Al-Moqdad’s wife, Alaa Albalke.
Members of the Forest Grove Church and Attridge Congregation were also at the airport, greeting the family with a sign that read “Welcome to Canada.”
READ MORE: Syrian refugees thank Saskatoon for warm welcome
The group has raised enough money to support the family and take care of everything from rent to upcoming doctor’s and school appointments.
“Let them experience Canadians at their best,” said Elaine Maj.
“When you see individuals like this, who seem so genuinely loving and other centered, you wonder ‘how did it get to this point?’” she added.
Al-Moqdad says the family can’t be thankful enough. Several residents in Saskatoon have reached out to them, offering English lessons and financial support.
“I own half the world now because my sister is with me,” said Al-Moqdad.
“It was really great how everything came together, so that he could be here and meet his sister, who he hasn’t seen in four years. We’re glad to be part of that story,” said Richard Maj, spokesperson for the Forest Grove Church and Attridge Congregation.
The group says they look forward to helping the family settle in.