Summerland dentist Mike Abougoush, his father Jamel Abougoush and his uncle Methal Abougoush have donated money and supplied a van to help a family of Syrian refugees.
“We’re in a position where we want to give back,” Mike Abougoush said, reflecting on his family’s journey to Canada from Lebanon.
In 1951, his grandfather left his home country of Lebanon, looking for a place to raise his family.
He came to Lac La Biche, a small community in northern Alberta, where he set up a barbershop.
In 1953, he brought his wife and six children into the country. Their journey from Lebanon to Canada took two months.
At first, the family lived in a small 28-square-metre shack.
“They had no money and no language skills, but they had an opportunity,” Mike Abougoush said.
His father, Jamel Abougoush became a teacher and later went into business. One of his uncles became a lawyer.
Methal Abougoush is the owner of Boyd Autobody and Glass in Kelowna.
Mike Abougoush said he and his family wanted to help the Syrian refugees who were coming to Summerland.
One family, sponsored by Summerland United Church, arrived in late March.
A family of five, sponsored by the Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group, arrived in Summerland on Sunday evening.
“I look at this young family and they remind me of where our roots are from,” Mike Abougoush said.
In addition to the money and donation of a van, Mike Abougoush is providing dental care to the refugee family.