Syr­ian fam­ily ad­just­ing to life in Grate’s Cove

Northern Pen - - Sports - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON THE COM­PASS

It’s not very of­ten you get to speak with peo­ple in ru­ral New­found­land who have truly lived through danger­ous times. It was har­row­ing to hear the AlTaani fam­ily, with a lim­ited- but-im­prov­ing grasp of the

English lan­guage, share their story of liv­ing in a city where go­ing out into the street was a risky move any given day. They

sur­vived in an over­crowded refugee camp in Jor­dan (where life still wasn’t all that safe) and for years man­aged to make ends meet be­fore fi­nally leav­ing all that dan­ger be­hind to come to Canada. They were can­did about the dif­fi­cul­ties they went through ad­just­ing to a new life in a for­eign land, and there were rel­a­tives left be­hind to worry about who were still in dan­ger. But it was heart­en­ing too to hear first-hand about the chil­dren mak­ing friends in school and feel­ing wel­comed by the com­mu­nity at large. It was a story worth get­ting out there and one I was very happy to share.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON — THE COM­PASS

Mah­maud AlTaani, left, and his fa­ther Mah­maed were still ad­just­ing to life in Grates Cove when they spoke with The Com­pass in Fe­bru­ary of 2018. The AlTaani fam­ily fled Syria six years ago and ar­rived in New­found­land and Labrador the pre­vi­ous Au­gust.

An­drew Robin­son

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