Saskatchewan

'Give us a new chance to live': Syrian refugee suggests what's needed from Canadians

Hany Al Moliya says adjusting to life in Canada was easier for him than his parents. He says it's easier when you're younger to still learn.

Hany Al Moliya came to Regina as Syrian refugee

Hany al Moliya, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee now living in Regina, is legally blind. Taking pictures has become a way to snap the world into focus, and at the same time, it has provided some refuge for him over the past three years. (Hany Al Moliya)

Hany Al Moliya says adjusting to life in Canada was easier for him than his parents. He says it's easier when you're younger to still learn. 

Al Moliya arrived in Canada in 2015. On World Refugee Day, he spoke to CBC about the challenges of creating a new home in Canada. 

"Refugees are interrupted people, so we used to have our own life and, you know it was interrupted by the war," he said. "Now we're trying to get back our life that the war took from us."

Al Moliya said it was difficult for his parents to learn the language after they hadn't learned for a long time. 

"Mentally they're living somewhere else."

He tries to encourage his parents to speak English more often to help them learn it.

When asked what Canadians can do to help, Al Moliya said giving Syrians a community is more important than material needs.

"They're missing their social life more than, you know, maybe their home. A home is just a home but if you find someone to talk, someone to integrate with, probably that's going to be your real home," he said. "It's good to give a smile before you give a chair."

Al Moliya says new friends can go a long way into developing their new lives.

"Surrounded by people that are supportive the idea to give us a new chance to live."

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