Saad (left) meets Ian Scott, who worked hard for them to come to Canada, at the airport

Castlegar Airport sees reunion of Syrian refugee family

Daughter arrived first, family finally reunited

In early July West Kootenay Friends of Refugees joined other supporters at the Castlegar airport to celebrate the reunion of another family, separated by war and the need to leave their home country.

Cheers went up as Rahaf Zwayne, her brother Amr and father Saad crossed the tarmac. Over two years ago, Melva and Ian Scott of Fruitvale privately sponsored Rahaf, after a chance meeting in a souvenir shop in Istanbul led to an online friendship. Rahaf and her family had left Damascus for Turkey when war made it too dangerous to stay.

After Rahaf arrived in Canada, she and the Scotts began working to arrange for her father Saad and brother Amr to come to Canada. Ian Scott completed reams of paperwork and with help from the West Kootenay Friends of Refugees, the musical trio La Cafamore, the Visac Gallery and dozens of local supporters, funds were raised to help pay for their travel and settlement costs.

No financial support is provided by the government to privately sponsored refugees.

With permanent residency now in place, all three family members are looking forward to working hard to contribute to their new country.

Earlier this year, Rahaf Zwayne completed a two-year diploma program in Hotel and Resort Management at Selkirk College and is now living and working two jobs in Nelson, where the family will live. She still has the dream of someday being able to return to her home country of Syria to help rebuild, but for now the focus is on helping her brother and father settle in, find work and locate a place to live together in Nelson.

It’s the third time in a year the WKFOR has helped reunite a famly. In November 2017 Gidewen Melake arrived to join his family after being separated from them for seven years. In June, the family of KoKo Latt opened their home to a cousin who had been living as a UN refugee in Malaysia for even longer.

If you are able to help these new Canadians settle in our community, please call West Kootenay Friends of Refugees at 250-362-5289.

Just Posted

Firesmart program has homeowners ‘thinking like an ember’

RDCK offering free home assessments to protect homes from wildfires

RDCK issues evacuation order to Deer Creek residents

Local state of emergency declared in the area because of Deer Creek fire

Delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

DriveBC reminding travellers the area is an active wildfire zone and warning of fallen debris.

Nelson designer raises money for New York Fashion Week trip

Lillea Goian will show off her work next month

Trail company bids to replace Greyhound for Nelson-Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

East Kootenay fire victim honoured

Bradley Patrick Tipper remembered as gentle-hearted and generous

Lightning blamed for most recent regional fires

Southeast Fire Centre says 90 per cent of the 342 fires recently reported are lightning-caused

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Most Read