Monday Morning Musings

Posted on October 17, 2016 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

arrival-team

The arrival party at the airport

Tyranny and democracy.

This was an amazing week in so many ways. On Tuesday night , just before the stroke of midnight, a very weary Syrian refugee family came through the arrival gate at Stanfield International Airport. The Almoustafa Almashhoud family , originally from Aleppo, Syria had just completed an epic journey from Ankara, Turkey. Although fatigued, you could see the joy on their faces… and relief that they were finally out of harm’s way.

We were very pleased to have three members of the Al Zhouri family and Tareq Hadhad as part of the welcoming committee. Earlier this year, the Al Zhouris  had made a similar journey and this was the first time that they were back at the airport. They relived their memories of arriving and knew exactly how our newest Nova Scotians were feeling. On the drive home on the bus, the 4 children slept but Yaser and Raghda were too excited to close their eyes. Rabbia Al Zhouri, a wonderful, caring woman,  prepared some Syrian treats for the drive home.

We expect to hear the story of the Almashhoud’s escape from tyranny in the coming days. We welcome them to Antigonish and hope they enjoy the peace and quiet of small town Nova Scotia.

The local sponsorship group, CARE, of which I am a member, has been very busy the last few weeks getting a house ready for our refugee family. We have had phenomenal support from volunteers and the business community. It was especially heartwarming  to watch Toufiq Al Zhouri, who owned a construction company in Syria, roll up his sleeves and lend his skills at the house, a classic example of countryman helping countryman.

I would like to acknowledge the amazing contribution of a bus from Chuck and Yvonne MacDonald. This enabled all of us to travel to and from the airport as a group. Chuck drove the bus and was uncommonly kind to our new family.

The week ended with democracy on full display as Municipal elections were held across the province. We are so fortunate that we can conduct our affairs in such a civilized fashion. I think that we should thank everyone who put their name up for public office. It takes a great deal of courage and stamina to run in an election.  I have run for public office. I know the “ thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  In your travels, please reach out to those who were not successful. These are exceptional people who will continue to serve their community despite not winning.

I was going to comment on the U.S. Presidential race but for once, I will bite my lip!

Off to India a week from tomorrow.

Have a great week.

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Comments

One Response to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Toni MacDonell says:

    It’s so nice to hear of the welcome provided to this Syrian family. I hope they prosper in Antigonish. Toni

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