The Kamloops Islamic Association held a wonderful welcoming dinner on Sat., April 2, at the Catholic OLPH Hall for the new families from Syria. Newcomers and volunteers of all ages, faiths, and ethnic groups mingled and enjoyed a delicious meal together.
There were lots of children running around, babies being bounced, visiting, laughter and delicious food. 350 Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, and secular folk gathered to welcome the new Canadians from Syria.
A Syrian refugee spoke that regardless of race or religion, this is how people around the world should act by helping each other and not fighting. He said how wonderful it was to be here safe in Kamloops and away from war.
Fliss Klassen, a member of R.A.F.T., said, ” I have never felt prouder of being Canadian than when the 350 of us stood up and sang, ‘Oh Canada’!”
R.A.F.T. was presented with a framed Certificate of Appreciation by Faisal M. Siddiqui, President of the Kamloops Islamic Association, for “determined dedication, commitment, social and financial support and outstanding performance of volunteers during the settlement of Syrian Newcomers to Kamloops, British Columbia.” Martha Ashbaugh accepted the certificate on behalf of R.A.F.T.
Image by Heather Mewhort