While the members of the Al Abdulrahman family are grateful to live in Summerland, they miss the family members and friends they had to leave behind.
The family from Syria fled their home six years ago. After spending time in a refugee camp in Jordan, they arrived in Canada early this year.
They spent six weeks living in a hotel near Vancouver’s English Bay before relocating to Summerland in April.
The Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group worked to bring them to the community.
While the move to a new country was difficult at first, the family said help from the refugee group has made the transition much easier.
In October, Adnan Al Abdulrahman acquired a business license and has started repairing cell phones, computers and other electronic items. This is the same work he had when he lived in Syria.
Adnan and Hayda’s two oldest children, nine-year-old Mohammad and seven-year-old Aboud, are attending school. They also have a daughter, Bisan, four years old, and a son, Jawad, 14 months old.
All are becoming fluent in English and have been adjusting to life in Summerland
The most difficult part of the move has been keeping in touch with family and friends they had to leave behind.
They are able to send messages, but because of the conditions in refugee camps, they cannot communicate with friends using Facebook, videoconferencing or other technologies.
“Sometimes it takes 10 days for them to answer,” Adnan Al Abdulrahman said.
Those living in the refugee camps may get one hour of electricity every two to three days.
The communication difficulties have made the move to Canada difficult.
“My father and my mother, we really miss them,” Adnan Al Abdulrahman said. “When we decided to leave Syria, we couldn’t say goodbye.”At that time, his parents were at his sister’s home and it took a while before they could connect.
Initially, the family expected to be back after a few days, but the separation has been much longer. Six years later, they have not seen each other.
“I’m looking forward every day to visiting my parents or bringing them here,” Adnan Al Abdulrahman said.