St. Brice’s helps reunite Syrian family
Nour Jabr, her husband, Katada Alhariri, and their children settle in to life in North Bay
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.
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.