Syrian refugees give back and say thanks to their Vancouver community

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Syrian refugees give back to Vancouver neighbourhood
WATCH: Syrian refugees have a chance to say thank you to the Vancouver neighbourhood that welcomed them to Canada. Julia Foy reports – Dec 3, 2016

A group of Syrian refugees in Vancouver gave back to the Canadians that took them in last year.

On Saturday night, the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House was filled with the sounds of laughter, music and good company as about 100 guests dined on authentic Syrian cuisine.

The meal was made and served by a group of women who had fled Syria as refugees in 2015 and landed in Vancouver.

“The Syrians that we’ve been working with wanted to hold a multi-cultural dinner to say ‘thank you’ to Canadians,” said Jocelyne from the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.

One of the women, Rawa Mahouk, came from Alleppo. She managed to get most of her family out of the war-torn city, but a sister and her children are still trapped inside.

“When I see any news about Alleppo, I think my heart is really gone,” Mahouk said.

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When Mahouk and her family and new friends arrived, they had no homes, friends, or English speaking skills. But today, they are hopeful for their future.

Some of the children in attendance at the dinner shared their dreams with Global News. Fourteen-year-old Shiyma Bozan said her favourite subjects in school are French, social studies, physical education and math.

“[I love] all of it!” Bozan smiled.

Obada Olfares, 17, said he hopes to become an electrical engineer. Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Suliman hopes to become a doctor and one day return to a peaceful Syria.

As they gather around the tables to share good food and culture, these refugees have a simple message.

“Thank you so much,” said Olfares.

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