March 6, 2016 5:34 pm
Updated: March 6, 2016 7:56 pm

Montreal organization sets up workshop for Syrian refugees

WATCH ABOVE: Canada welcomed it's 25,000th refugee last weekend, thus fulfilling an election promise. Now one Montreal organization is making sure the resettled families understand all aspects of Canadian culture by offering a series of workshops. Felicia Parrillo reports.


MONTREAL – While Canada has reached its goal in welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees, the Canadian Alliance for Syrian Aid (CASA) wants to make sure the newly resettled families feel at home.

The workshop gathered experts in medicine, real estate, education, social work, and finance to help integrate newcomers.

One of the families attending the workshop was Kamel Ayyash, his wife, son and five daughters.

With the help of a translator, Ayyash said he and his family fled the town of Darah, Syria, in 2011 with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and moved to Beirut. They stayed for five years,  until Ayyash was accepted to come to Canada.

The family was government sponsored and since landing in January, have been set up with housing in Brossard.

READ MOREGovernment to start making sponsored Syrian refugees pay travel costs

They’re in the middle of learning both English and French, but have yet to begin working.

They told Global News they’re grateful for an organization like CASA to help, inform, and guide them.

“Our organization is focused on making their integration in the Canadian community, in the Canadian society, to make it easier for them,” said CASA’s President, Dr. Ayman Chamma.

Experts and professionals discussed everything from Quebec’s rental board to Canadian loans and credit cards.

Chamma said in addition to the information, CASA wants to make them feel welcomed.

“Canada is not Syria, the government in Canada is not like the government in Syria,” said Chamma. “Here you can express your thought, here you can live freely and here you don’t have to feel intimidated.”

Sunday’s information session drew about 100 Syrian families.

CASA said the workshop was the first of many to come.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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