Quebec government celebrates one year anniversary of Syrian refugee arrivals

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WATCH: Syrian refugees mark one-year anniversary in Montreal. Matthew Grillo reports. – Dec 11, 2016

It was the first anniversary of a monumental day for Quebec immigration.

One year ago, the first planeload of Syrian refugees made their way to the province in hopes of a better life.

READ MORE: The Halabis: Catching up with a Syrian refugee family 9 months after arriving in Montreal

George Kas Barsoum was one of those people.

He came to Quebec with his family and said he worked at a clinic one kilometre from the ancient and now war-torn Aleppo borderline.

His new home in Canada is a world away.

WATCH BELOW: Taking a closer look at refugees’ journey before they arrive at the screening facility

“It’s different,” Kas Barsoum said. “This country is peaceful, this country is welcoming.”

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READ MORE: Quebec community groups helping Syrian refugees abandoned by their sponsors

For the time being he’s focused on learning a new language, but when that’s completed there’s uncertainty.

“I will search for something for living,” Kas Barsoum said. “I don’t know anything except the medical jobs. I will search for some stage or something like doctors, I don’t know.”

He’s not the only refugee looking for employment.

“We want to do things we want to be effective people here,” Athra Naoum, a Syrian refugee, said. “Because we are effective people.”

READ MORE: Quebec immigration minister, NGOs brainstorm integration ideas for Syrian refugees

At this anniversary event, the province is looking forward.

“The next step is full integration notably in to the job market,” Kathleen Weil, Quebec Immigration Minister, said. “That’s obviously where the challenges are.”

In August, Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil said the province had a goal of welcoming 7,300 refugees by the end of 2016.

As of December 8, 2016, Québec had welcomed 6893 refugees.

Even though there’s uncertainty surrounding what the future holds, it is a big improvement from the past.

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“After the war everything is easy,” Kas Barsoum said. “It’s not easy to live in new country, but after war…it’s more easy than living in the war.”

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