Calgary

Calgarians make welcome videos for Syrian refugees

Some Calgarians are embracing Syrian refugees with videos to extend a warm welcome, along with helpful tips to make the transition a little easier. Those videos will be available through a free app called Ahlan, which is Arabic for ‘welcome.’

Things like how to get a driver's licence, how to survive cold weather, covered by series of videos

Videos are to welcome refugees and offer tips to ease transition 1:43

Some Calgarians are embracing Syrian refugees with videos to extend a warm welcome, along with helpful tips to make the transition a little easier.

Those videos will be available through a free app called Ahlain, which is Arabic for 'welcome.'

Cesar Agudelo says he and some friends had been looking for a project to work on together. When the issue of Syrian refugees came up, it was the perfect opportunity.

Cesar Agudelo and some friends are making welcome videos for Syrian refugees. (CBC)

"We invited people by Facebook to come to the Peace Bridge and say 'welcome' to the refugees," Agudelo said.

"We thought the Peace Bridge would be a nice, symbolic location."

Calgarians make welcome videos for Syrian refugees (CBC)

Agudelo says it's more than just a welcome though, with about a dozen videos covering a variety of topics to make the transition smoother.

"We're filming today (about) Calgary Transit, also how to get your driver's licence," he said.

Jon Yee, left, Esmahan Razavi and Cesar Agudelo were looking for a project to work on together. (CBC)

"We have videos on how to survive the weather, how to stay healthy, physically and mentally. You know, all these little tidbits that an immigrant — not only refugees — but any immigrant would like to know when they arrive and we wanted to make it as accessible as possible."

Esmahan Razavi, one of Agudelo's partners in the project, came from Saudi Arabia when she was 13.

Esmahan Razavi immigrated from Saudi Arabia when she was 13, so understands what it feels like to be in a new country. (CBC)

"I can empathize with what it's like to come to a new place and to not know how to do things that might seem really simple to people who actually live here," Razavi said.

"So we decided, since there are so many people coming, we'd make these videos in Arabic and sort of help them along the way."

The videos will be accessible in English, French and Arabic.

The group's goal is to have the videos and the app available in the next couple of weeks.

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