It’s summer 2017

              The mandate of our  Refugee Sponsorship Group is quickly coming to an end. Our obligation of financial support extends only to the end of June 2017….after that the family is on their own, financially that is.
              ….all is very positive and we do not foresee any serious difficulties for the family. Thank you to all of you who have done so much to make,what is a very difficult transition for the family, as painless as possible for them.
           Everything has gone so well and the family are adjusting to life in Musq. Hbr. so smoothly that we have not felt it necessary to call a group meeting to discuss their progress.  At one time we had spoken about having a community celebration for the family to celebrate their one year anniversary in Canada….something like the celebration at the Old School which we held to welcome them to Musquodoboit Harbour.  After consultation with the family, and considering all the possibilities, our executive have decided to forego the community celebration and to hold a barbecue event in August for the family together with all of you, the members of our various committees, who have helped them along the way.——details to come about this in future emails.
           And Salah is now driving his own car (since April, he made his driving test the 6th of March) (also his Syrian friends from town have cars by now) so everyone can meet now without we have to drive the family to Porter’s Lake or other shopping in town.
           Have a good summer, everyone.
Posted in 2017

Happy Easter

It’s spring now a time of new life and renewal. After some driving lessons Salah received his Nova Scotia Driver License in the beginning of March and hopes to be able to get his own car shortly.  With the coming of spring weather Salah is back to work on the Eastern Shore.  At this moment his colleagues pick him up every morning and they drive together to work raking rock weed.
Menal is taking care of Linah who is now walking and climbing on anything in reach. She is a very happy baby now 16 month old. Melak is going to OPA school daily on the bus and is picking up English including some Eastern Shore words and sayings.  Recently the family walks to the playground together. In the beginning of the year a new Teacher Katie from Porters Lake joined the teaching team who continue to teach 3 times a week. Some of us have asked Menal to teach us some Arabic and we have started to write words and expressions down under her direction. And yes,  there is always tea, now with sugar or without sugar!
The family will celebrate one year in Canada at the end of June. We are planning a community get together to mark the occasion. We have tentatively set a date for the 8th of July at the Old school for this event.
Happy Easter and Thank You everyone for your support and continued care and assistance to the Abdurrahman Family.  We have all learned a lot in the past year while making friends and had a lot of fun too.

 

Posted in 2017

From our Archbishop’s desk

Archbishop Mancini’s Comments on the Mosque Shooting
 ….from the office of the Archbishop
January 31st, 2017
To the faithful of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth,
It is with great sadness and shock that our country woke up yesterday to the news of the tragedy in Québec City, where members of the Muslim community were struck down for their faith while praying in a mosque.
Last night over 1000 people gathered at the Grand Parade in a silent candlelight vigil to express condolences to the victims and their families. The gathering was a moving expression of solidarity, diversity and unity which are the marks of our peaceable country.
I was among those who gathered last evening in silent prayer pleading for peace, forgiveness and courage. The occasion raised up the thought that whenever such tragedies occur, not only are lives lost, but all of us lose an important part of ourselves. It is this broken human spirit seeking healing and reconciliation which moved so many to come together in support and solidarity.
With this note, I invite all of you to pray for those who have been killed and injured, for their families, for their friends and neighbours. Let us pray for and defend religious freedom in our country, province and all our communities. May the Peace of God, which is central to our respective faiths, reign.
†Anthony Mancini,  Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth
Posted in 2017

Merry Christmas

Greetings of the Season:
       On behalf of Musquodoboit Harbour Refugee sponsorship Group  please accept our sincere thank you for all that you have done to welcome our family, the Abdurrahmans, to our community.  Our best wishes go out to all of you for a joyous Christmas and a new year of peace, good health and good cheer.  Adrien
Posted in 2016

Merry Christmas

Soon to celebrate six months as Canadian Permanent Residents, our newcomer family is settling nicely in to their new life in Musquodoboit Harbour.  Salih, Menal, Melek and Linah wish you to know just how much they appreciate everything that has been done for them and how much they have enjoyed meeting so many of you, their neighbours and new friends. Thank you and may God bless you for your friendship and warm hospitality.
                Since they arrived at Halifax International Airport on the 23 of June this past summer a lot has been accomplished in this short, but busy, time.  The many hours put in by our teams of dedicated volunteers have resulted in all of the following achievements:
                The family have moved into their cozy, well furnished, apartment in Musqupdoboit Harbour which they are really very happy with.  They have completed all of their dental, optical and medical assessments, and have undergone a few minor treatments and procedures with no major problems.  ( Melek is getting used to wearing her new eye glasses but has yet to learn that they are easily damaged and must be treated with care.) They have also been registered for MSI, Permanent Residency Cards, NS Identity Cards, personal bank accounts, smart phones, etc., etc.,  and all the other documentation necessary for life in today’s world.
                Salih has been working at getting his drivers license. He has already successfully completed the first two written/oral tests and is now preparing to take the final road test which will give him his NS Driver’s License.  (He will then, no doubt, be anxious to get his first vehicle in Canada in 2017)
                Six year old Melek has been taking the school bus daily to Oyster Pond Academy and is getting along just great…..picking up English and interacting with the other children…she just loves it.
                Salih and Menal were given English lessons almost daily over the summer months, and continuing this fall;  these, combined with personal studies at home, have brought Salih and Menal to a point at which they can now understand and make themselves understood for most practical purposes, albeit yet with some difficulties…..but they are learning remarkably well…..kudos to our teachers.
                During several shopping trips to Dartmouth and Halifax, accompanied by  faithful volunteers, they have been able to experience shopping the Canadian way.  Weekly trips for groceries have enabled them to find many of the Mid-Eastern foods that they are familiar with; during trips to Walmart, the Dollar Store, Mark’s Warehouse, etc. they have been able to equip themselves with the coats, hats, gloves, boots etc., etc., which they need to get through their first Canadian winter.
                Salih has started a probationary trial period of work with Maritime Rockweed. A very hard and demanding job standing in an open boat for up to six hours at  a stretch piling rockweed, which he has raked along the shoreline, into the boat.…….very demanding indeed, especially in winter ……so far he is doing really well at it and we admire his determination to succeed.
                The family is about to pass a few notable milestones……..the first Christmas they have ever experienced at firsthand……also Linah’s first birthday on December 26 , she can walk now on her own.…Happy Birthday Linah!………and celebration of their first six months in Canada which, coincidentally, coincides with Christmas.
                If anyone wishes to send Christmas or New Year’s greetings to the family you may do so by sending them to the following address:  Mr. and Mrs. S. Abdurrahman,  P.O. Box 82, Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia, B0J 2L0
                As chair of our Refugee Sponsorship Committee, I would like to thank all of you, our volunteers, who have devoted so much time effort and… yes, I can say… much love…. to seeing that the family’s needs and comfort have been met.  I also wish to thank so many of you who made our fund raising a success. Although we are not at present actively fund-raising, if anyone wishes to contribute to the family in a special way we are still able to acknowledge your donation with a tax receipt.
                One last thing…..when Menal looks out the window from her apartment she sees, right across the street, the Musquodoboit Harbour Railway museum which, at this time, is all decorated and lit up for Christmas…..and she tells us daily how much this means to her….and how warm and happy it makes her feel to be living among us in beautiful and peaceful Musquodoboit Harbour.
Thank Your everyone, wishing you all a very joyous Christmas, Good Health and Peace in the New Year!
               Adrien Blanchette ,    Chair, Musquodoboit Harbour refugee Sponsorship Committee
Posted in 2016

Time to Give Thanks

We are reminded at this time of year of all of the things that we are thankful for and take the time to reflect on the goodness of life and the blessings of family and friends. We thank God for the blessings of living in this wonderfully beautiful and  peaceful land of Canada.
We also wish to thank all of those in our community who have so generously given of their time and financial donations over the past year .  They say that “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well we have come to realize over the past months that it takes a whole community to re-settle a family in their midst.  We have witnessed an example of the goodness of ordinary people in the way that you have all come together to make the Abdurrahman family welcome here and well on the way to becoming happy and productive members of  our community. Thank you to all the donors, volunteers, team members, and everyone who helped in any way to make this happen. As part of their first Thanksgiving in Canada the family enjoyed a Turkey Supper at the Lions Club with Wayne  and Ann Currie on Saturday and have been invited to Helen and George’s place for Sunday Dinner. THANK YOU ALL

 

Posted in 2016

September – update

Progress report on Abdurrahman Family re-settlement in Musquodoboit Harbour – as at Sept. 1, 2016
Father – Salih, Mother – Menal, Daughter – Melek (6 yrs old), Daughter – Linah (9 m.old)
As of this date, Sept. 1, 2016, the Abdurrahman Family has been in Musquodoboit Harbour for exactly nine weeks.  During this time they have made remarkable progress in learning English, and in becoming familiar with  new customs and some of the (to them) strange ways of their new life in Atlantic Canada.
The dedicated group of teachers and volunteers that make up our Education Team have accomplished much in the few weeks of summer.  Because the regular classes for teaching English as a Second Language do not start until September, the team did not wish to lose this learning time and so  set up a daily schedule of classes in Musquodoboit  Harbour using the resources available to them.   Classes take place daily in the Library and in the home with a roster of volunteer teachers alternating on a daily basis.  Consequently, Salih and Menal have progressed to the point where they can now carry on a conversation, albeit with a very limited vocabulary and much  pointing, miming and sign language which often leads to much hilarity all round.
Melek, the six year old, was enrolled in the Summer Camp Day Care in the Municipal Office and really enjoyed the interaction with the other children and was soon using many English words and phrases to make herself understood. She, at times, even corrects her parents English; much to their amusement.
Our Medical team has seen to having all the medical assessments and necessary examinations done to date. The result has been that several minor medical, visual and dental problems have been identified and have been attended to  or are in the process of being looked after..
Socially they are getting on extremely well thanks to the generosity of many volunteers who pick them up and take them on various trips such as to twice-weekly shopping trips for groceries etc. Sometimes these involve trips to Mediterranean grocery stores in Dartmouth and Bedford for Halal meat and foods which are not readily available in the regular Supermarket.  They have also enjoyed trips to the Beach, to the outdoor music concerts in The Harbour, to events at the Old School Meeting Place, to the Public Gardens in Halifax, to visit other Syrian families in Dartmouth, to a pot-luck  picnic  in Dartmouth with other Syrian families from the weekly English Class that Salih had been attending over the summer, and to invitations to dinner in several private homes.
The family now looks forward to school starting for Melek, who will be going on the bus to OPA, with all of the usual mixed feelings that parents have when they experience their first child leaving their side to take their first steps out into the larger world “out there”.
Salih will also be leaving the home for bus trips on his own into Dartmouth where he may be attending classes in a formal setting in the Forsyth Learning Centre on Pinecrest in Highfield Park.
So all in all….very satisfactory progress is being made through the efforts of many generous volunteers who have taken all of the various and varied needs of the family’s re-settlement well in hand. Every day a few more steps are taken by the family towards becoming independent, resourceful and productive members of our society.
None of this would have been possible without the generous financial and moral support from the churches, organizations and individuals in our communities who willingly gave so much. May God bless you for your willingness to reach out and help a family in need.

 

Posted in 2016

Summer school..

With the help of many of our volunteers our summer school for the family  is ongoing, with visits to the library, the play ground, the dentist, the doctor, the old school, walks on the beach, shopping trips in the area. Next week the first get together with the Syrian Family in Cole Harbour….. the days are filled with interesting things.
If you like to volunteer such as a bit of conversation at the library, a walk to the playground, a shopping trip to the supermarket, to Halifax etc. please give us a call or email us shorefuge@gmail.com
Posted in 2016

Over 100 well wishers came…..

Proud to live on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia!
                          Proud to live on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia!
     We have never been more proud to be counted among the good people of the Eastern Shore than today at the meet and greet for the Abdurrahman family.  Over one hundred well-wishers gathered at the Old School Gathering Place in Musquodoboit Harbour  to show Salih and Menal, and their two young daughters Melak and Linah, just how welcome they are in this community.
Everyone pitched in to put on a celebration of welcome to rival any birthday party. And, in reality, it is literally a rebirth for this family to be invited to begin life anew in this beautiful and peaceful land surrounded by such warm-hearted, generous and friendly people. Yes, they realize that they are fortunate to be here and they are grateful….but we are fortunate, also, to welcome them to life in our community…their presence among us will enrich our lives in many ways…we, also, are grateful for their being here among us. We, and they, old and new, are proud to be counted as Canadians.  And, with teary-eyed and lump-in-the-throat emotion, we joined hand-in-hand to cap the proceedings with a rousing raise-the-roof version of Oh Canada, our national anthem, together.
     THANK YOU, every one of you, for making all of this possible.

 

Posted in 2016

Summer school…

In the meantime our summer school has started for the family…. In the library and some other places, every day. We have a group of  wonderful volunteers who can teach. Anne Caudle, Patricia Richards, Barbara Markowitz, Macaela Howe…. only to name a few. Other members of our group are walking with the family to the Peace Park. Going shopping at Sobeys and Superstore, Jeddore Variety. In the meantime Salah visited the mussel farm, (yes mussels are halal food), The folk Art gallery in West Jeddore…. Thank YOU all!
Posted in 2016