St. Brice’s helps re­unite Syr­ian fam­ily

Nour Jabr, her hus­band, Katada Al­hariri, and their chil­dren set­tle in to life in North Bay

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - GORD YOUNG

A Syr­ian woman who hadn’t seen her par­ents and sib­lings in four years has been re­united with them in North Bay.

Nour Jabr re­called Tues­day how she and her mother em­braced and cried tears of joy upon her ar­rival with her hus­band and chil­dren at the city’s Jack Gar­land Air­port sev­eral weeks ago.

Jabr, along with her hus­band, Katada Al­hariri, and young chil­dren, Ghith, and Mo­hamed Al­hariri, are North Bay’s new­est Syr­ian refugee fam­ily.

They ar­rived Sept. 8 un­der the spon­sor­ship of St. Brice’s Angli­can Church.

Jabr’s par­ents, Zahra Ouwer and Ibrahim Jabr, along with her broth­ers Mohammad, Hashem, An­wer and Asem have been liv­ing in North Bay since March 2016.

They sep­a­rated four years ago, when Jabr, who was stay­ing with her fam­ily in Jor­dan, left to live with her hus­band in Abu Dhabi, where he worked as a truck driver.

The cou­ple, who were en­gaged at the time, fled Syria in 2011.

Al­hariri, a farm worker in Syria who feared forced mil­i­tary con­scrip­tion, went to Abu Dhabi and trained as a truck driver – shar­ing a room with five other men – while Jabr went to Jor­dan.

The two were mar­ried dur­ing a visit Al­hariri made to Jor­dan in 2012.

He even­tu­ally gained em­ploy­ment and was joined a year later by his wife in Abu Dhabi, where they shared a small apart­ment with an­other fam­ily while await­ing ac­cep­tance to Canada.

“This is a villa,” said Al­hariri, of the apart­ment his fam­ily now has in North Bay dur­ing an in­ter­view at their home ear­lier this week.

With the help of an in­ter­preter, the cou­ple shared their story with The Nugget and mem­bers of the group from St. Brice’s, which started or­ga­niz­ing and fundrais­ing to bring a Syr­ian fam­ily to North Bay in 2015.

The group had been pa­tiently await­ing to re­ceive a fam­ily for some time when it was asked last year about spon­sor­ing the young cou­ple and their two chil­dren.

The long wait seemed al­most serendip­i­tous, and the group didn’t hes­i­tate at the chance to help re­unite the two fam­i­lies.

The fam­ily would have ar­rived much ear­lier, but Jabr, whose youngest son, Mo­hamed, is only seven months, could not travel dur­ing her preg­nancy. The cou­ple’s el­dest son, ghith, is two.

st. brice’s will spon­sor the fam­ily for the next year. al­hariri is al­ready learn­ing english as a sec­ond lan­guage and is anx­ious to work. and Jabr has been at­tend­ing the On­tario early years cen­tre with her chil­dren.

The two ex­pressed their thanks to the st. brice’s group and the com­mu­nity, and re­marked upon the beauty of canada and the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple they’ve met.

although they’ve also been warned about the frigid tem­per­a­ture, the cou­ple said they are look­ing for­ward to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing their first win­ter.

GORD YOUNG/THE NUGGET

Nour Jabr and her hus­band, Katada Al­hariri, ar­rived in North Bay last month with their two young chil­dren, and have been re­united with Jabr's fam­ily, which came to North Bay last year.

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