A new home

Sha­reef fam­ily wel­comed to com­mu­nity at town coun­cil

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - News - Sarah.ladik@ad­ver­tis­ernl.ca BY SARAH LADIK

GRAND FALLS-WIND­SOR, NL – If there is one thing Saad Sha­reef wants you to know, it’s that he and his fam­ily are do­ing well.

“We’re happy to be in Canada,” he told the Ad­ver­tiser Tues­day even­ing af­ter be­ing wel­comed to the com­mu­nity be­fore a town coun­cil meet­ing. “We waited a lot of time be­fore we could come here.”

Saad, his wife Rana Alka­drie, their daugh­ters Aya and Hala Sha­reef, and son Mo­ham­mad Sha­reef ar­rived in Grand Fall­sWind­sor from Syria about two months ago, with the help of the town’s refugee com­mit­tee. They said they are set­tling in well, though the change in cul­tures – not to men­tion weather – has been try­ing.

“At school, we un­der­stand ev­ery­thing, but it’s hard to com­mu­ni­cate with the teach­ers,” Aya said through her fa­ther, who acted as the in­ter­preter for the fam­ily.

For Mo­ham­mad, the big­gest change has been get­ting used to an­other cul­ture, though Saad said the chil­dren are adapt­ing quickly and do­ing well in all their school work.

Af­ter the tri­als of get­ting to Canada in the first place, one of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing the Sha­reefs now is find­ing fa­mil­iar and ap­pro­pri­ate food. It will come as no sur­prise to New­found­lan­ders that there is hardly a plethora of Ha­lal shops, es­pe­cially in cen­tral, which makes it dif­fi­cult for prac­tis­ing Mus­lims to source meat, in par­tic­u­lar.

“It’s been hard to find a good va­ri­ety of food,” Alka­drie said.

Sim­i­lar groups to Grand Fall­sWind­sor’s refugee com­mit­tee have been work­ing for some time to help bring refugee fam­i­lies from war-torn Syria to cen­tral New­found­land com­mu­ni­ties. So far the re­sults have been pos­i­tive, with one fam­ily set­tling in Lewis­porte and a hand­ful now call­ing Gan­der home.

SARAH LADIK

Hala Sha­reef, left, Rana Alka­drie, Mo­ham­mad Sha­reef, Aya Sha­reef and Saad Sha­reef were of­fi­cially wel­comed to the com­mu­nity prior to a town coun­cil meet­ing in Grand Falls-Wind­sor March 6.

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