Syrian refugees host barbecue to give back to Winnipeg

A Syrian family that had hateful graffiti sprayed outside their home hosted a barbecue Saturday as a way to say thank you to everyone in the community who's helped them.

Family holds party in front of house that was targeted with hateful graffiti

A Syrian family that had hateful graffiti sprayed outside their home, put on a barbecue Saturday as a way to say thank you to everyone in the community who's helped them. 1:09

A Syrian family that had hateful graffiti sprayed outside their home hosted a barbecue Saturday as a way to say thank you to everyone in the community who's helped them.

The family, along with others from Winnipeg's Syrian community, invited North End residents and everyone who passed by their home to join them for a Thanksgiving meal — Syrian style.

"When they were in trouble .. different people from this neighbourhood give them a hand in order to support them," said Maysoun Darweesh, a volunteer with the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees who helped organize Saturday's event.

Speaking through a translator last month, Mannan Hamrasho told CBC News in recent months he had been beaten by a man who robbed him.
Bear Clan members came out to dance with Syrian families Saturday evening (Travis Golby/CBC)

On another occasion, he said kids threatened his children who said "we'll burn your life" and "we'll put fire in your house."

A house next door to the Hamrasho home caught fire shortly after that and it was so severe a window in the Hamrasho home blew out.

The family was never able to confirm if the fire was connected to the threats, but the Bear Clan Patrol ramped up patrols in the area in light of graffiti that told the family to go home.
Mannan Hamrasho was busy getting food ready Saturday as a way to say thanks to everyone who helped him and his family. (Travis Golby/CBC)

James Favel, the executive director of the Bear Clan Patrol, said the patrol stepped up because there's no room for hate in the neighbourhood. "We are a diverse community here."

Favel said he was touched to see the celebration Saturday. "We came together as a community."

About the Author

Austin Grabish

Reporter

​Austin Grabish is a reporter for CBC News in Winnipeg​ where he files for TV, web and radio. ​​Born and raised in Manitoba, Austin has had an itch for news since he was young. He landed his first byline when he was just 18. Before joining CBC, he reported for several outlets with work running across the country. He studied human rights in university and holds both a degree and diploma in communications.​ Connect with him here: austin.grabish@cbc.ca