As families are being torn apart by civil war in Syria, many are attempting to find new hope in Canada.
The Syrian Refugee Support Committee, Campbell River Baptist Church (CRBC) and the Anglican Church are working together to help bring the family of local citizen — and owner of Baba Ganouj — Merell Awad, in to Campbell River. Awad is a Syrian-Canadian and feels responsible to do her best to save her family members.
“Those who are coming don’t have any country left, so they’ll be loyal to Canada and try to build a new life,” Awad explains. “Most are well educated; engineers, marine engineers, accountants, [have] degrees in French, doctors, pharmacists, all will be a good value to the community.”
Julie Gole from CRBC is glad to be given the opportunity to help.
“I personally have not been in a war-torn country and can only imagine the devastation of having no choice but to flee my home with only a suitcase,” she said. “We have an opportunity to show love to a few people. It’s a no-brainer … These are relatives of the owners of Baba Ganouj. Nephews, sisters, mother, brother, friends. If it was my family, I’d hope someone would help me get them to safety.”
Awad is proud of Canada and its history of helping others. She is encouraged by the community’s willingness to work together and the opportunity to share the responsibility with others.
If you are interested in providing help for Awad’s family’s arrival to Canada, there are several fundraisers on the horizon. Some dates to put on your calendar are:
• On Feb. 27, there will be a Sadie Hawkins Dance with the Impalas at the Campbell River Community Centre from 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are available at the Mirror office, Baba Gannouj, On Line Gourmet, Works d’Art and Inspirations on Quadra.
• On April 7 at 6 p.m., there will be a Burger & Beverage night at SoCal, accompanied by a silent auction. Tickets will be sold at the door.
• On April 23, there will be a huge Syrian dinner at the Campbell River Baptist Church, along with a silent and live auction. Tickets are $40 each.
• Another fundraiser is in the works but has yet to have a confirmed date. Hosted by Campbell River Baptist Church, this would be an appetizer sampling night featuring local chefs and entertainment.