Montreal – The Migrant newspaper: Like any new refugee, Maria Haddad, her family and children arrived to Montreal in the year of 2013, having in mind big dreams, that she aspires to achieve, facing a countless obstacles, starts with the language issue, and never ends with the obstacles of studying, housing, children’s education, the job search, certificate evaluation, and many other inquiries, need a conclusive answers to every detail each immigrant needs to start a new life in the country differs in everything from his country of origin, the culture, the language, even the climate.
The limited ability of getting the answers, which “Maria” in need to, in addition of the many things she needs to inquire about, were a great incentive for her to set up a “group” on Facebook for the Syrian Ladies of Montreal the year of 2015, which coincided with the arrival of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees to Canada, where she began to add her friends, and so everyone of the newcomers and the women with enough experience in Canada, have started welcoming her new idea.
The idea has evolved rapidly, four women were rallied around by her: Miray Hakimeh, Rim Koriel, Rita Mansourati and Georgette Ghunem, had met together for one noble purpose, which is lending a helping hand to the newcomers.
In her interview with “The Migrant newspaper” Maria said: “The purpose of the association is to share the experiences of others and to help who is seeking information that can benefit him in his new life, regardless of his political or religious affiliation. Its main objective was to accelerate the new immigrants’ integration into their second country Canada, and to provide everything that would facilitate their lives in the optimal way.”
The full volunteer work of the five women, their enthusiasm to help, and their desire to contribute to the success of the new immigrants, was quickly met the interaction with the members, who found it a useful resource for everything about their living in Canada.
“Maria” adds that what makes their work in the association different from others is that it lets the women asking all their misgivings and questions at ease, and through the answers of the people with experience, we are providing the benefit to the family as whole, and not only to the woman.
She expresses her bit pleasure with the great interaction in the group, which has got a large archive on a very important issues such as: the language, certificate evaluation, children enrolment in schools, job search and many more.
“Maria” believes that the greatest joy for the women working in the association is when we see people who have really benefited from our work, where they found the right job through us, or their lives changed for the better after reading correct adequate credible information.
Maria considers that one of the most important obstacles encountered by the association is the presence of some negative people, who cause of frustration and despair, on the reversal of our orientation in the association, which focuses on successful models that have adapted to Canada and started working and sometimes established their own projects in a record time period.
Three years after the founding of the association, “Maria” expresses her great relief at the beautiful impact that this experience has left on her personal life and on the lives of others and concludes by saying: “That’s just lend a helping hand to others for no charge, fills my heart and my life with satisfaction, inner peace and great happiness”.
Interviewed by Kameel Nasrawi
Translated by Satanay Barsbay