Syrian refugee family welcomed as Swift Current residents
Swift Current’s newest family received a gala welcome at the Swiftlink Charity Expo at the Swift Current Mall on Saturday.
The seven members of the Mayyuf family arrived in Swift Current on October 5, finally leaving a refugee camp in Turkey after fleeing their native Syria over five years ago. They have been living in tents and a re-purposed Sea Can since January 2013.
When asked to reflect on their life in the refugee camp, mother Esma Mayyuf said the experience was not an easy one.
“I’m not sure if you’d call it life. Just staying there, being away from everything, it was a glorified name for a jail. Even cooking is something you have to plan. Using the bathroom is something you have to plan to leave the tent. So it’s hard to think about it as life,” she said to the audience at the Swiftlink Charity Expo.
The questions posed to the family and their answers were translated by Sammi Khalife.
Father Ahmad Mayyuf admitted the past weeks have brought big changes for the family.
Khalife also explained that the family literally arrived with only the clothes on their back. “His house, with everything in it, was destroyed,” Khalife explained. “The only thing he brought with him is his family record. It’s a notebook that has all the family information, but that’s the only item that survived from Syria to Canada.”
The Mayyuf family, father Ahmad, mother Esma, and children Mutip, Fatma, Alaa, Ruaa and Mohamad were formally introduced to the community at the Swiftlink Charity Expo on Saturday at the Swift Current Mall.