Newly-ar­rived Syr­ian refugee saves Cana­dian bride’s wed­ding day

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

It is the night­mare sit­u­a­tion that no bride wants on her wed­ding day: as one of Jo Du’s brides­maids did up the zip on her dress, it broke. Jo didn’t know it yet, but there was no need to panic. Be­cause next door was a tai­lor, a man who had only ar­rived in Canada days be­fore af­ter flee­ing Syria’s war-torn vi­o­lence, un­able to speak a word of English. Ibrahim Halil Dudu did not hes­i­tate to come to the res­cue. “I was so ex­cited and so happy,” Ibrahim told CTV News through a translator. “I like to help Cana­dian peo­ple from my heart.”

He ap­peared at the house with his sewing kit, his young son and David Hob­son, the On­tario man who had opened his own doors - and ren­o­vated his base­ment - to Ibrahim and his fam­ily so they could have a home.

“Within a few min­utes he had sewn Jo’s dress on to her - and it looked just as good as be­fore,” re­called wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Lindsay Coul­ter, who cap­tured the mo­ment with her cam­era.

Lindsay, 26, was so touched by what she saw, she de­cided to share the im­age with her Face­book friends.

“Ev­ery week­end I take pho­tos of peo­ple on the hap­pi­est days of their lives, and to­day one man who has seen some of the worst things our world has to of­fer came to the res­cue,’ she wrote in a post liked more than 22,000 times since 26 Septem­ber.

Ever since, she has been in­un­dated with emails and calls want­ing to find out more about the tai­lor from Aleppo, who spent three years in Turkey wait­ing for asy­lum af­ter es­cap­ing Syria.

“It’s very over­whelm­ing,” Lindsay said. “I think Cana­di­ans want to help when they see oth­ers in need.

“We love Canada, but we know we just won the lot­tery on where we were born.”

In fact, this story of good­will goes back even fur­ther: Ibrahim, his wife and their three chil­dren are among 50 fam­i­lies be­ing spon­sored to live in Canada by busi­ness­man Jim Estill, who is per­son­ally foot­ing the bill of more than a mil­lion Cana­dian dol­lars ($764,000) so they can claim asy­lum.

These fam­i­lies are among 30,862 Syr­ian refugees who have ar­rived in Canada since Novem­ber 2015. In com­par­i­son, Bri­tain has set it­self a goal of tak­ing in 20,000 Syr­ian refugees by 2020, and Amer­ica has ac­cepted 10,000 in the year to 1 Oc­to­ber.

Lindsay now hopes this story will in­spire other coun­tries to fol­low in Canada’s foot­steps.

“My mas­sive, mas­sive dream is that oth­ers will see what we have done and see it makes us a stronger coun­try and it makes our peo­ple more com­pas­sion­ate,” she said.

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