MAIN PHOTO: Ahmad and Hala Ibraheem share an emotional embrace as they realize they are beginning their new life in their new home, Canada, after arriving at Halifax Stanfield Airport. (Healey photo)
HALIFAX STANFIELD: The eagerness to hug. The wave by Hasan Ibraheem as he and his family came through the doors to the taxi carousel area. The beaming smile on Nour Baroud’s face (even if her mouth was covered).
It was the emotional embrace by husband and wife, Ahmad and Hala, outside Halifax Stanfield Airport as they realized they were in Canada and about to begin their new life. Of course, after they have self-quarantined at their new home in Halifax for 14 days.
Watching the interaction—or the fight to restrain themselves from doing so due to COVID19 restrictions—of Ahmad, Hala, Hasan who’s been his parents eyes and ears as both are deaf, and Ghaith moments after arriving, and the excitement and relief evidence in Nour’s demeanor showed what it meant that she had her brother and sister-in-law with her in Canada.
“This was my dream,” said Nour, who had not seen her family in seven years. “I lose my words. I am speechless here.
“I have been crying since yesterday and overnight.”
The Ibraheem family was able to be brought over thanks to fundraising efforts through the Riverlake Syrian Refugee Project. They had brought over the Baroud family some three years ago, and volunteers went to work when the need was determined to get the Ibraheems over to reunite them with Nour. It was facilitated and helped along through the office of Liberal MP Darrell Samson.
“This community, church, and country they give us our life again,” she said.
Susan MacLean, one of the main volunteers who has been apart of bringing the Baroud family and now the Ibraheem family here, echoed everyone’s feelings.
“It fills my heart,” said MacLean. “It’s a tough world right now with a lot of displaced people, but just to know we have helped one more family come to safety and peace,” said MacLean. “I can sleep well tonight.”
Tears of joy flowed in both the eyes of Nour and MacLean.
“Nour is like a daughter to me, and to help her reunite her family is the biggest gift this community could give her,” said MacLean. “They will do wonderful things. They’re going to start their own family business. They’re going t be awesome.”
Nour spoke of welcoming the family, including her brother Ahmad, to Canada inside the airport, but not being able to give them a big hug was hard.
“It was very hard,” said Nour. “Hasan wanted to come and hug me but Norman (Doucet, with MP Samson’s office) said no touch.”
Hasan said his family is happy to be in the home of Canada.
“It was a big thing for us to land and be with our family,” he said. “We’re happy to be here and ready to start new life.”