Moncton High School rallies to help classmate Syrian brothers in need of family support

Click to play video: 'High school students, staff helping Syrian-Canadian family' High school students, staff helping Syrian-Canadian family
WATCH: Staff and students at Moncton High School are trying to help a Syrian-Canadian family reunite with their oldest sibling at a time when they need him the most. Shelley Steeves reports. – May 3, 2021

Moncton High School staff and students are rallying around two Syrian brothers, whose family is in dire straits.

“They need help and I would like to think that some people in the community will see that,” said Heather Gunn, who is a teacher at the high school who has helped to organize a campaign in support of the two students who attend Moncton High School.

Read more: Refugees seeking a fresh start in Canada amid coronavirus face uncertain future

Mohammed and Majad Aldoudi and their mother and sister became Canadian refugees after coming to New Brunswick in 2019 after living in a refugee camp in Jordan for two years said 21-year-old Mohammed.

He said that he and his older sister have a genetic condition known as retinitis pigmentosa, which causes progressive vision loss.

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“I lost my vision when I was 13 years old”, he said.

So, since coming to Canada, it’s been up to younger brother Majed to be the family chauffeur.

“I get my mom to groceries and if she has an appointment  go with her, and (if) my brother has an appointment, I go with him” said Majed.

But just over a month ago, Majad, who has the same yet less severe eye condition, said that he had his licence taken away after being told by his eye doctor that it was no longer safe for him to drive.

“We have a very hard situation here”, said Mohammed

The boys are now pleading with the Canadian government to fast-track their oldest brother’s Canadian refugee application. The 35-year-old brother and his family have been living in a refugee camp in Jordan for five years now, said Mohammed.

He said it has been very difficult to be separated from his brother and his wife and three kids and even more so at a time when they need his help.

Read more: COVID-19 travel restrictions are impacting immigration into Canada. Here’s one man’s story

“I need my brother and his three children and his wife to come here to help us”, he said.

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Students at the school have started a letter-writing campaign calling on people to contact the federal cabinet minister and New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc on behalf of the boys, said student Emma Leger.

“We are asking students to reach out to Dominic LeBlanc to ask for his help to get Mo and Majad’s family here from Syria”, said Leger.

Knowing that getting the family here quickly will be an uphill battle, especially amid COVID-19, Leger said the students have also started up a go fund me campaign.

She said they’re hoping to raise enough funds to help the family with transportation and living costs until big brother can arrive in Canada.

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