Taste of Syria
Enjoy an evening of Syrian food, music and culture while helping to bring a young Syrian widow and her six children to West Kelowna at a Taste of Syria on Sept. 29 at Emmanuel Church.
The Emmanuel Refugee Care Collective, a group from Emmanuel church, is raising money to sponsor Najah, a Syrian widow, and her six children. The private group is responsible for raising enough money to completely support the family for their first year in Canada. Janice Dewald, who spearheaded the sponsorship, estimates that would take about $ 50,000 in the Okanagan.
Najah’s husband was killed when their apartment in Syria was bombed. The family had been living in a refugee camp in Jordan, but when the camp became too dangerous for the teenaged daughters, the family moved to live in one room in Jordan.
Najah is the sister of Sahar Al Breij, who came to West Kelowna with her husband and four children in January 2016 after being sponsored by a private group. The group’s sponsorship of Najah and her children will not only bring them to safety, but also reunite family.
“If they have family here, they’re going to do better,” said Dewald.
The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with food tastings. Guests can move from station to station sampling authentic Syrian food prepared by two Syrian refugee families from the Okanagan who have started food businesses.
Margriet Ruurs, a B.C. children’s author who recently published a story about the Syrian Refugee crisis will be the speaker. Ruurs’ book, Stepping Stones - A Refugee Family’s Journey, tells the story of a family who sets out to walk to freedom in Europe with what they can carry on their backs after they were forced to flee their once-peaceful village. The book’s remarkable art work is from Syrian Nizar Ali Badr. All proceeds from the book go toward Syrian refugee resettlement.
The evening will also include an opportunity to hear from the West Kelowna’s rst Syrian refugee family about their experience adjusting to independence in Canada as well as enjoy a music performance on a guitar- type instrument by a Kelowna Syrian refugee.
The application to bring Najah and her children to West Kelowna has been approved so it’s a waiting game for the process on the Jordanian end with medicals, security checks and interviews. For Dewald, working to bring Najah and her children to West Kelowna is her response to the overwhelming feeling of helplessness triggered by the Syrian crisis. “If I can save one family, I will,” she said. Tickets for A Taste of Syria cost $25 each and are available by calling the church of ce at 250768- 7638, online at emmanuelchurch.life or at Eventbrite.com at A Taste of Syria. Emmanuel Church is located at 2600 Herbert Rd.
If you are unable to attend A Taste of Syria but would like to donate, you can drop a cheque by Emmanuel Church, donate digitally by texting the word give to 778-764-1105 and following the prompts or clicking the Giving link on the Emmanuelchurch.life website. Charitable receipts can be issued for donations.
West Kelowna’s first Syrian refugee family will be joined by Sahar’s sister and children as the Emmanuel Refugee Care Collective is raising money to sponsor the widow and her six children through events such as a Taste of Syria Sept. 29 at Emmanuel Church.