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World Refugee Day in Quebec: “Finally, They Arrived!”

In July 2015, Canadian Global Response helped start the paperwork and application for the Barbar family—Iraqi refugees living in Jordan that the McLean family visited in Amman during Christmas in 2016. The McLean’s friendship started on this trip, and we celebrate with them the arrival of their sponsorship family!

The following is an English translation of the CBC Radio-Canada article in French by Brigette Marcoux from ICI Estrie, published on Monday, May 29, 2017.

After two years of waiting, the Barbar family, refugees in Jordan, finally arrived in Quebec soil. A delegation from Hope Community Church was there to welcome them to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. A reunion that gave rise to some moving moments.

Sherbrooke’s Paul McLean and his group rose at dawn on Monday to attend this long-awaited event. The Barbar family’s flight from Amman landed a little after 7 am. The 10-hour flight was the last step before reaching a new life in Canada. The McLeans, who are part of the Hope Community Church in the borough of Lennoxville, decided two years ago to sponsor these refugees.

“It’s unreal! Finally, they are here in Canada with us, but it’s hard to believe, it’s been so long that we wait for that moment.” – Paul McLean, Member of Hope Community Church.

Raed, his wife, Juliet, and their two daughters left Iraq in catastrophe in August 2014 after the armed group Islamic state bombed their village. They found refuge in a small apartment in Jordan. By August 2015, they had a good fortune. Citizens of the borough of Lennoxville decided to apply for private sponsorship in order to welcome them here.

“About 20 people from the Hope Community Church were waiting for the Barbar family at the airport. Photo: CBC / Brigitte Marcoux”

Monday morning, there was a lot of excitement in the air as the story came to an end with the arrival of the Barbar family at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Juliet’s father, mother and brother who immigrated to Ontario two years ago also traveled to come and greet them.

The group will have an interpreter to facilitate communications. Fatima Batassa will accompany the family to help communicate by making the translation. “I am of Moroccan origin and I will try as best I can to help them. Raed told me he’s so grateful for the support they’re getting. He is very excited to see so many people waiting for him here this morning,” says Mrs. Batassa while translating it all to Raed Barbar who is at her side.