Albarazi family arrives in Pictou

Community Featured

PICTOU — They were happy, hungry and a little tired. But the Albarazi family is now in Canada.

The four members of the family arrived on May 31, the third family sponsored by Communities Assisting Refugees Now (CAiRN), a group that has worked in partnership with Pictou United Church to help three Syrian families escape the crisis in their country and come to live in Canada.

The Albarazi family includes Fakher, 61, Rima Chacin, 53, Bader, 26, and Ayah, 20. They fled Syria eight years ago, leaving behind their extended family and farmland. They ended up in Turkey. The family flew from Turkey to Toronto, where they were processed through customs before a domestic flight that arrived in Halifax early Thursday evening.

“We want to be a big, big family with all of you,” said Fakher, who is 61. “We are so happy. It is an exciting feeling.”

Bader and Ayah were also able to share their dreams, now that they are here.

Bader’s role in liberating the family was crucial. The Canadian government hired him to process refugee claims as the Syrian crisis intensified, and it helped CAiRN connect with the Albarazi family.

“I’m so happy and excited and I hope I can build my future in this land,” said Bader, who hopes to continue his studies in civil engineering.

A bounty of food was part of the welcome for the Albarazis when they arrived in Pictou.

Ayah used the opportunity to un-package a glorious turquoise china setting to serve coffee to family and guests.

“I’m happy,” said Ayah, who has completed her high school education and whose aspirations are within the range of architecture and engineering. “I wish this to be a step for us.”

Bringing the Albarazi family to Canada followed a decision in May 2016 by the Pictou United Church congregation to privately sponsor the family. The Casim and Albarri families previously settled in Pictou.

A pot luck meal has been scheduled for June 10 at 8 p.m. at the church hall to welcome the Albarazi family and celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Albarri family’s arrival.

Members of the Albarazi family gathered at their new home in Pictou after arriving on May 31. From left are: Fakher, Bader, Rima and Ayah. (Goodwin photo)