Nataly Khoury immigrated to Canada 21 years ago with her husband and settled in Shubenacadie, N.S., where they have lived ever since.
“Shubenacadie been home. I lived here for 21 years, I lived in Syria for 19. I started my own family here, so Shubenacadie, is home,” Khoury said.
Khoury and her husband have run a family diner in the community since they arrived. She says it’s a way to connect with all of the people there.
“We are very involved in this community, we know all the community almost,” she said.
Every day she’s busy working in her diner, but as the orders continue to pour in, her mind often wanders back to her roots in Syria.
“Those people need help and Canadians reach out to help,” said Khoury.
One of the groups helping out is the Shubenacadie Area Refugee Committee, an organization created by the St. Bridget’s Roman Catholic and St. James Anglican churches.
“A few months back when a lot of the news started about the plight of the refugees in Syria, we felt that we wanted to do something to help,” said Michael Isenor. a member of St. Bridget’s Church.
The committee began searching for a family to sponsor and ended up finding a connection that was close to home.
“As soon as we began, we found out that there was a family in Shubenacadie that were already trying to bring over their family members,” Isenor said.
Those family members were Nataly’s sister and niece.
Khoury said it the generosity made her emotional.
“Especially this sister she’s been through a lot. She’s one of those people who lost her home, she saw her son getting shot, she lost her business, they lost everything,” she said.
The churches have raised all the funds needed to bring over Khoury’s relatives and are continuing their fundraising efforts to help sponsor another family.
In the meantime, Nataly can’t wait to have her sister and niece home.
“I just want her to feel like she can finally sleep and not worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow.”