Refugee living in Canada writes welcome letter to Syrian newcomers

Mohammed Leyl, who came to Canada after living in a refugee camp, sympathizes with the new refugees arriving. He advises them not to let the difficulties and tragedies of their past decide their future.

Mohammed Leyl grew up in Kenyan refugee camp before coming to Regina

Regina residents welcome the first group of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in the city. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)

A Somali man who first settled in Regina as a refugee has written a welcome letter to the new refugees arriving in the Prairies.

Mohammed Leyl, who grew up in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, was sponsored by World University Service of Canada and attended the University of Regina after settling in Saskatchewan.

He now lives in Edmonton. 

Below is the welcome letter Leyl wrote in English which also been translated to Arabic script. Use the tool to scroll between the two versions.

Syrian refugees arrive in Canada

The Canadian government has pledged to bring in 25,000 refugees by the end of February.

There were 163 Syrians who arrived in Toronto this December in the first government aircraft carrying refugees.

They were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with a young girl as he greets a family of Syrian refugees during their arrival at Pearson International airport, in Toronto, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

In Vancouver, it was a tearful reunion for former Syrian MP Mamon Alhomsi and his two sons. 

He had been waiting five years for his sons to join him in Canada and the family was finally reunited on Dec. 10. 

Tears and joy as Syrian family reunites in B.C.

7 years ago
Duration 0:55
It's been 15 years since Mohamad-Mamon Alhomsi has seen his two sons

Refugees arrive in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's first group of government's sponsored refugees arrived in Saskatoon on Dec. 19 to applause and songs from strangers awaiting their arrival. 

Syrian refugees arrive in Saskatoon

7 years ago
Duration 0:29
Fourteen refugees from Syria arrived in Saskatoon on Dec. 19.

There were 14 refugees who stepped into John G. Diefenbaker International Airport to the crowd of supporters.

Lori Steward, centre left, and Sol Barrones, centre right, are both from Saskatoon's Global Gathering Place. They hold Arabic signs welcoming new Syrian refugees to Canada, at the Saskatoon airport. (Evan Radford/CBC)
A mother and her child, refugees originally from Syria, wait inside the Saskatoon airport before stepping into the chilly weather outside. (Evan Radford/CBC)

Al-Bardan, his wife Safaa Khamees, and their son Rida received a warm welcome at the Regina International Airport last Monday.

They spent the past three years living in a refugee camp in Jordan. 

For eight-month-old Rida, this is his first time living outside of a refugee camp.

Safaa Saleh Khamees (left), Radi Hayal Al Bardan (right) and their son Rida arrive in Regina. (Brian Rodgers/CBC)