PEI

Syrian refugees share their stories at P.E.I. heritage fair

P.E.I.'s annual provincial heritage fair is becoming more multicultural with the addition of Syrian refugees to the Island.

'This is great place. I feel I am so happy for that because we are all right here, and we are good'

Grade 5 St. Jean Elementary School student Basel Al Rashdan's flight from Syria is now part of the fabric of P.E.I. history. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

P.E.I.'s annual provincial heritage fair is becoming more multicultural with the addition of Syrian refugees to the Island.

The event, being held this Thursday at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, features history projects from students in grades five to nine who explore the history of their families, communities, province or country.

"I found good people, and I found this school, St. Jean School," said Basel Al Rashdan, a grade five student who arrived in Charlottetown from Syria just four months ago.   

Al Rashdan's project, entitled My Journey, shows maps of Syria and photos of he and his family being welcomed by provincial politicians as they arrived at the Charlottetown airport. There's even a snapshot of Al Rashdan with a smiling Premier Wade MacLauchlan. 

"This is great place. I feel I am so happy for that because we are all right here, and we are good," Al Rashdan told CBC News reporter Lindsay Carroll.

"When my country be safe, I will go back."

St. Jean School currently has 19 Syrian refugee students, two of whom are participating in the provincial heritage fair. They're part of a group of 10 newcomer students from the school who will compete. 

About 200 Syrian refugees have made P.E.I. their new home in the last few months. 

St. Jean Elementary School students Kim Vu (left) and Reina Houdeib prepare to present their project on P.E.I.'s growing population. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

MORE P.E.I. NEWS I Why Charlottetown's sewage system needs almost $2M in upgrades

MORE P.E.I. NEWS I P.E.I. potato grower John Griffin named 2016 Innovator of the Year

now