Saskatoon

Syrian refugee family happy to be in Saskatoon

Just last month, Ahmed and his family were living in Jordan, worrying about their future and considering moving back to war-torn Syria. But in the space of a month, the family received a phone call from the United Nations, got on a plane, and started their new life in Canada.

Basim Ahmed fled Syria three years ago after house was destroyed by bomb

(Left to right) Fadio Almasalama, Basim Ahmed and their three children sitting in their new home. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC News)

It's been a whirlwind journey for Syrian refugee Basim Ahmed and his family.

Canada is very good.- Basim Ahmed

Just last month, Ahmed and his family were living in Jordan, worrying about their future and considering moving back to war-torn Syria.

But in the space of a month, the family received a phone call from the United Nations, got on a plane, and started their new life in Canada.

"I was very happy," said Ahmed. "At the same time, I was very sad, because my neighbours, friends, (I had) to leave them."

Ahmed's story starts three years ago. He was living in the city of Daraa, Syria, working as a bus driver, when a bomb destroyed his home, throwing his family out onto the street.

The family of four fled to neighbouring Jordan, where they lived for three years, illegally, barely scraping by.

Suddenly, he received a phone call, and in a week, was on a plane to Canada.

Despite having never seen snow before, Ahmed said the cold is a small price to pay for living in Canada.

"Canada is very good," he said. "People, government, and we can't forget the mosque. They came and visited with us and welcomed us."

As for the future, Ahmed hopes to resume his career as a bus driver. For now, he and his wife Fadio are taking English classes and trying to get used to their new home country.

"(In Jordan), they said to me, you are lucky to go to Canada," he said. "I know some persons who live in Canada, in Toronto, in Edmonton. They said to me, Canada is very good, and you are lucky. God likes me."

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