Thankful for Canada

Thankful for Canada

Arriving in a new country as a refugee is much different than arriving as an immigrant. In the first case you will accept the first chance to get yourself and your family away from a war zone. In the other case you make your selection based on deep thinking and you prepare what is needed to start your new life. 

As a refugee, once you make your first step you will start wondering and worry what to do, but the Canadians made it very easy. I can’t forget the words I heard most from almost everyone I met in my early days in Canada. 

“Thanks for coming to Canada,” people said with a big true smile. 

In Canada we got access to many things we have tried for the first time in our lives. Back home in Syria the largest ice surface was about the same size as a dining table. So getting the chance to practice skating or downhill skiing was for my kids just like walking on the moon. 

I'll never forget the first moment I saw the northern lights. It was minus 30, but I was just like a crazy person in the street. I didn't know where to look. The winter is unique for us. 

The first time I crossed the ice bridge I phoned my friend, telling him that I’m crossing the river on my feet. He just started laughing and said to me, “Congratulations! You just became a prophet now as you are walking on the water.”

The unqualified support that my family and I received from our new Canadian friends made me change my belief about luck. Before I came to Canada, I didn't believe in luck. But now I keep saying, I'm very lucky to be in Canada.

— Omar Al Homosh and his family spent their first two years in Canada in Jasper. They moved to Yellowknife in the fall of 2018.

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