Twenty-two-year-old Tarek Nemr is an asylum seeker living in Jordan who still has a smile on his face despite his uncertain future, including a dream to live in Calgary.
“I’m nervous about it,” Nemr said from his apartment in Amman. “I don’t know when I go, I don’t know if I should leave work, say goodbye to my family.”
Nemr is being privately sponsored by the Calgary Centre for Global Community.
Centre staff put Nemr’s paperwork through in March but they still don’t know when he can start to pack his bags.
“For us it’s now beyond that eight-month process,” said Salima Stanley-Bhanji with the organization. “There has been some complications with paperwork and we really don’t know where things stand.”
Over the past year, over 2,000 Syrian refugees moved to Calgary and there’s more new arrivals.
“The last two months we have received 120 Syrian refugees,” said Fariborz Birjandian with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. “We expect another 115 in the next 20 days.”
The society has been working to have the refugees living in communities across the city and to find them jobs. However, there is another critical goal which cannot be quantified.
“These cohorts, they’re high-need and traumatized. Many, many of them children, so I think we need to create a different indicator of success,” Birjandian explained.
The Calgary Centre for Global Community isn’t giving up on getting Nemr to Calgary and neither is Nemr.
“It is a dream, I want a family, I want to learn… it’s life-changing.”