Syrian Family Arriving in Canada Opens Up Opportunity to do Good

The Syrian civil war’s devastation forced countless families to flee their homes. Abdul Jabbar, his wife, and their two children were among those seeking refuge. Thankfully, Canada answered the call, welcoming 25,000 displaced Syrians, including the Jabbars.

Note: The names used in this story are fictitious to protect the privacy of those involved.

Early Steps in British Columbia

Upon arrival in British Columbia, the Jabbars received a warm welcome. They were placed in a Surrey hotel, provided with winter clothing, and received financial support from the Canadian government for their first year. This initial assistance allowed them to settle in and begin adapting to their new life.

Challenges and Support

Abdul, a former truck driver from Syria, faced a significant barrier: language. He didn’t speak English, making it impossible to obtain a Canadian driver’s license and return to his profession. This is where the Muslim Food Bank stepped in.

Saira Saleem: A Caseworker Making a Difference

Saira Saleem, a Muslim Food Bank caseworker, took on the Jabbars’ case just three months after their arrival. Recognizing Abdul’s desire to work again, Saira became his advocate. She helped him navigate the driver’s licensing process, translating documents and facilitating communication with officials.

Overcoming Obstacles

Initially, Abdul’s Syrian driving experience wasn’t accepted. Determined to help, Saira didn’t give up. She persisted, taking Abdul to another licensing office. Thankfully, the second office acknowledged his experience, allowing him to obtain a regular driver’s license – the first step towards his ultimate goal.

The Road Ahead

Abdul’s journey continues. He now attends intensive English classes, mornings and evenings, determined to overcome the language barrier. He wants to take the commercial driving test, which requires English proficiency.

Beyond Driving: A Life Rebuilt

Saira’s support extended beyond obtaining a driver’s license. She helped Abdul open a bank account, a seemingly simple task made complex by language barriers and unfamiliar bureaucracy. Additionally, she assisted him in obtaining extended healthcare coverage, crucial for managing his rheumatoid arthritis.

The Power of Helping Others

Saira finds immense fulfillment in her work. “When someone asks you for help, it’s a gift from God,” she says. She recognizes the challenges Abdul faces but remains confident in his ability to succeed.

A Call to Action

The Jabbar family’s story is a testament to the power of support and resilience. The Muslim Food Bank plays a vital role in helping newcomers like Abdul navigate their new lives.

Join the Movement

Consider volunteering or donating to the Muslim Food Bank and Community Services Society. Visit their website at www.muslimfoodbank.com/donate, email them at contact@muslimfoodbank.com, or call 1-866-824-2525 to learn more and make a difference in the lives of others.




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