The Moose Jaw Multicultural Council held an event in and around the Moose Jaw Public Library to recognize World Refugee Day, bringing members of the community together to learn more about the experiences of those fleeing famine, war and persecution in their home countries. 

Tables were arranged in front of the library bearing informational pamphlets and displays, staffed by members of the multicultural council team. 

At 2 p.m. people gathered in the library auditorium to listen to the stories of those who had entered Canada as refugees, who expressed their gratitude for the support, stability and safety that life in Canada has provided. 

Among those speakers was Ibrahim Hussien, who after escaping the war in Syria, has found a new life in Moose Jaw after his arrival three years ago.  

“You can’t imagine how difficult it is when war starts,” Hussien said. 

He explained the fear he and his family experienced when the war broke out in 2012, being trapped and unable to live life as it was before. 

“After (the start of the war), one year, two years, no hospital, no school. Everything stopped.” 

Ibrahim and his family initially fled to Turkey and remained there for several years before his application to come to Canada was accepted.  

“They told me you will be very welcomed in Canada,” said Hussien. “I thank God, because I am here between you, between nice people, friendly people.” 

He continues, saying that now that he is in Canada he is able to plan a good future for his family and his children. Noting that he and his family are able to live their lives feeling not only the safety and security offered by Canada, but also the warmth and friendliness of the people here. 

“I have many, many friends in Canadian people right now, I like them, they like me, (they) come to my home, we drink tea together and I am very happy,” Hussien said. “I don’t feel I am a stranger here; I feel like this is my country.”  

When he is not with his children, working with the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council and taking classes to improve his English, Hussien participates in a community garden program. 

“I plant summer plants like tomatoes, green peppers, I plant everything,” he said. “It’s very nice, it’s very helpful for you to (get to) know people.”