Join us for a housewarming on April 17th
You can join us on April 17th after the 10:30 a.m. service as we celebrate the Musa family’s move to a longer-term home. Please RSVP online to help us determine the expected attendance at the event, and if you plan to purchase a housewarming gift, make sure you check out our gift registry Google document and mark any item(s) you intend to buy as “Taken.” This will help ensure there’s no duplication of gifts. You are also welcome to make a cash donation at the church office and a member of the refugee sponsorship team will purchase a gift on your behalf.
A bit about the Musas
It has been nearly a month since the Musa family arrived and already it has been a time of adjustments for both them and us as we begin to assist them in their journey in Canada. We have learned so much together and wanted to share a bit about the Musa family with all of you who have supported us from day one.
Suleyman and Emel lived a normal life in Damascus in Syria. Being of Kurdish descent, both their families had immigrated to Syria from Iraq many generations before. Suleyman worked in construction and Emel did some sewing work. When they started their family, Emel left her work to focus on raising their children. Isa was born in 2008, followed by Melek in 2009, then Hilin in 2011. In that same year, civil unrest began in Syria, and the country was declared a war zone.
In 2012, after bombs began falling too close to home, the Musas gathered their few belongings and began the journey to Turkey. Once in Turkey they lived briefly in the refugee camp, while they filed their paperwork and awaited their UN refugee numbers. Unsure of how long the sponsorship would take, the Musas decided to make a living for themselves in Turkey, moving into a small apartment instead of raising their three young children in the refugee camp.
Unfortunately, life was still difficult, and dangerous, in Turkey. Turkish Kurds and Syrian Kurds do not get along. As a Syrian Kurd, Suleyman was forced to work in harsh conditions, was treated poorly, and often would receive little to no pay for his labour. Meanwhile, thieves would regularly force their way into their home, stealing what few possessions they had. Life was dangerous for the Musas. But 2015 was the year everything would change…
A new beginning…
In March of 2015 they welcomed their fourth child, Esinat. By the fall, when the refugee crisis finally captured the world’s attention, they knew their chance to make a new life, in a safe country, was just on the horizon. The day they were told that they would be sponsored and moved to Canada, they were so overjoyed that they gave away all their material possessions to those of their friends and family who were still in need. When asked by the Government of Canada if they wished to be sponsored by them, or by a Canadian family, they insisted on being sponsored by a family. The Musas wanted to be part of a community when they arrived on Canadian soil.
On February 20th, 2016 they left family and friends behind and boarded a plane for Toronto. They were scared. They didn’t know what to expect. But the very next day when they arrived at the hotel in Toronto, and were greeted by a group from Knox Oakville, Glenbrook Presbyterian, and members of the community, they knew they were home.
When asked about their most memorable moment of Canada thus far, they responded by saying:
“All of you! We are so happy to be part of a community. You took away our fears and made us feel welcome, like we were part of your family and for that we are truly grateful.”