Toronto Star

Syrian refugees get call to come to Canada

Family waiting three years in Jordan to be resettled


A family of Syrian refugees in Amman, Jordan rejoiced Friday, as they received news that they will be resettled in Canada, after more than three years waiting in limbo for a chance to start a new life, far from the suffering and misery of war.

The family was surprised to receive a call at 7 p.m. Thursday to come for an interview the following day at the United Nations High Commission­er for Refugees.

“They asked my father just two things. Are you ready to go to Canada before Dec. 30?’ said his son, who didn’t want to be named because he still has relatives in Syria. “Of course, he said yes. Then they said can we transfer your file to the Canadian Embassy?”

The family of five feels blessed to be among the 25,000 refugees Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to resettle before the end of 2015, as UN officials and Canadian visa officers in Amman work through the weekend to make this happen. The son has an interview with the UNHCR on Saturday morning.

There is a bitterswee­t undertone to the family’s story, however; a sister died earlier this year, unable to afford the medical treatment she needed to treat her cancer. “We remember her every minute,” said the son. “We have been on the list to be resettled for three years.” They registered with the UN in 2012, as soon as they crossed the border from Syria into Jordan, and settled in a rented apartment in Amman.

The UNHCR prioritize­s families with medical conditions, the elderly, children and other vulnerable people, and excludes anyone who doesn’t have proper identity documents or may have been a former combatant.

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