A Syrian family of six was greeted today by a chilly afternoon in North Bay, but a warm reception.
The family of four boys, along with a husband and wife, arrived to their new home of North Bay for the very first time at 3 p.m. today at Jack Garland Airport.
The Syrian family of six, which did not speak English, was greeted with -15 cold temperatures outside, but inside the terminal there was a very warm welcome as volunteers who helped raise money and get their new home ready, greeted them with signs. Staff and students from Widdifield Senior Secondary also came to welcome the family which includes four boys aged 10, 15, 17 and 19.
The father, Ibrahim Jabr, who has a masters degree in Engineering, was very emotional about the journey.
“We found everyone very welcoming to the point of crying,” Jabr said through Arabic interpreter Yasser Mohamed, a pharmacist from the North Bay Regional Health Centre who was part of the welcoming committee.
The father added through Mohamed, that they were so surprised by the greeting, and definitely were shocked when they realized how cold it was in North Bay when they got off the plane.
The family travelled from Jordan to Toronto yesterday and then to North Bay today.
The family is actually the second Syrian family, and not the first one expected. The next family will include a mother and nine children.
“I think the volunteers and the community has responded flexibly to welcome this family in North Bay,” said Stuart Kidd, the chair of the constituency volunteer group that organized the project and raised about $70,000 to help take in the two Syrian families.