Celebrating a new community: Syrian refugees in Regina featured in photo project

They are new faces in Canada, but Syrian refugees now living in Regina will be featured in an exhibit celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary.

Front Runner Technologies showing 150 different faces in Canada 150 project

Nathan Elliot and Mark Kowalyk with Front Runner Technologies stand with Hani al Moulia (centre), the photographer of the project featuring 150 faces of Syrian refugees. (Brad Bellegarde/CBC)

They are new faces in Canada, but Syrian refugees now living in Regina will be featured in an exhibit celebrating the country's 150th anniversary.

On Saturday, Front Runner Technologies hosted a photoshoot for the project, which will feature 150 different faces.

"We just wanted to show the faces of these people and how amazing and beautiful they are," Nathan Elliot, founder of the company, said. Elliot recruited Hani al Moulia to be the man behind the lens.

"It's really special for me because I'm one of these guys," said al Moulia, who left his home in Homs, Syria, when the country's devastating conflict began and members of his family were killed.

"It's really important to, you know, tell people in this celebration that we're part of the new community."

Al Moulia said while the subjects of the photos may not yet speak the same language as the people in their new country, their face will be able to connect them to the new community.

"If they're not talking the language, they can still feel each other by seeing that sparkle in the eyes, what the body language is giving."

The photos will be on display as the Regina-founded Front Runner Technologies launches in Toronto on April 19.

Elliot said prose written by a Syrian poet will accompany the images, and a Syrian violinist will be providing the soundtrack.

With files from Brad Bellegarde.