Syrian refugee helps young immigrant musicians in Calgary

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WATCH: Hundreds of people will be teaming up this long weekend to help young newcomers in Calgary. As Gil Tucker shows us, one man who’s overcome some tough obstacles is working hard to lend a hand – Sep 1, 2017

Akram Sabhan is doing a lot of new things these days – on Friday that included giving pinball a shot.

“This is the first time,” Sabhan said. “And I’m really excited to try it.”

It’s not something he grew up with in Syria, leaving that war-torn country to come to Canada as a refugee.

“It’s very bad there now,” Sabhan said.

READ MORE: Syrian refugee arrives in Calgary after more than year-long wait

He’s been doing a lot of volunteer work since he arrived in Calgary, helping set up for a Labour Day weekend event that combines live music with a pinball tournament.

Sabhan’s giving event organizer Graham Mackenzie a hand, the men having met when Sabhan was a student in one of Mackenzie’s English classes.

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They’re teaming up on the event to raise money to support young immgrants making music in Calgary.

“We’re trying to create a bridge for everyone to come together,” Mackenzie said. “Because with everything that’s happening that’s so divisive with race right now, to be together and share together is a key thing.”

Sabhan feels it’s a great chance to give back.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees experience 1st summer camp in Calgary

“Lots of people, they gave me help when I came to Canada,” he said. “So, so I want to now help those young people. It’s very important.”

The pinball tournament starts Saturday at the Atlantic Trap and Gill Pub in Calgary, with bands providing a soundtrack as the pinball continues on Sunday.

Find more information on the tournament here.

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