Cities #WithRefugees

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Cities across Canada are embracing refugees and becoming more connected because refugees are here, becoming colleagues, neighbours, and friends. At a time when conflict and persecution is uprooting millions of people worldwide, Canadian cities need to continue their support for refugees.

UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign invites cities and local authorities who are working to promote inclusion, support refugees and bring communities together to sign a statement of solidarity #WithRefugees.

Please join us today by persuading your city to join with the UN Refugee Agency. Ask your mayor to officially stand with refugees and cities across the world by signing the UNHCR Statement of Solidarity with Refugees. Tell your city you stand #WithRefugees.

 

See which Canadian cities stand #WithRefugees

 

 

 

Tell Your City 
to Stand #WithRefugees

 

How refugees are contributing across Canada

Across the country, the stories are the same: refugees welcomed, supported, and contributing to the vibrancy of the cities, which they now call home.

 Calgary

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“This country gave me the opportunity to do anything.”

—Sameena Merchant, Calgary AB

 
 
 
 
 
 

Being expelled from her homecountry of Uganda did not prevent Sameena Merchant from becoming a doctor. Instead resettling in Calgary provided her with the opportunity to achieve her childhood dream.

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 Edmonton

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“I did it to honour my sponsors. I wanted to do what they did. Follow in their footsteps.”

—Dr. Nhung Tran, Edmonton AB

 

 
 
 
 

40 years after her family was resettled to Edmonton, Nhung Tran-Davis is now paying it forward and making her city a city that stands with refugees.

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 Guelph

 

 
 
 
 

“When I started working, everyone knew me. Right away, we were like brothers here.”

– Ahmad Abed, Guelph, ON

 

 

Losing everything in Syria was devastating for Ahmad, but with the help of Jim Estill, CEO of Danby appliances, Ahmad’s resettlement in Guelph has given him a way to regain everything he’s lost.

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 Halifax

 
 

“With the farmer’s market, even though it’s once a week, it helped me a lot with my social life. “

—Rabiaa Al Soufi, Antigonish NS

 

After fleeing from conflict and spending five years unable to work or attend school in Lebanon, Rabiaa has found new hope and strength in the friendships she’s made in Antigonish.

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 Mississauga

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“Not only Somalis, but Canada will succeed.”

— Osman Ali, Etobicoke ON

 

Osman Ali came to Canada as a refugee over 40 years ago. This electrical engineer turned community organizer is building up young Somalis leaders in Etobicoke.

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 Montreal 

 
 
 
 
 

“Had I not had a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, I can only imagine where I would be right now.”

— Amelie Fabian, Montreal QC

 

Amelie graduated as one of the only female students from high school in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp. Through a unique program, she was resettled to Montreal and given the opportunity to further her education at McGill University.

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 Ottawa

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“I can’t wait to go to the citizenship ceremony. It will be a big day!”

— Pabi Rizal, Ottawa ON

 

 

After growing up deaf in a Nepal refugee camp, Pabi’s resettlement to Ottawa gave her the support she needed to know that she could accomplish anything.

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 Quebec City

 
 
 
 
 
 

“Everybody wants a normal life. That’s all I wish for my family too.”

—Kevork Eleyjian, Laval QC

 
 
 
 
 
 

After fleeing Syria, siblings Kevork, Lara, and Houry Eleyjian are now settled in Montreal, working and rebuilding their lives in a community that has embraced them.

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 Saskatoon

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“That’s a big step in my life. I’m considered a Canadian.”

– Hany Al Moulia, Regina Sk

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Being legally blind hasn’t stopped Hany Al Moulia from embracing his new life in Regina.

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 Toronto

 
 

“We have a responsibility as Canadians to make sure we also give back to this great country.”

— Tom Milhalik, Toronto ON

 
 

First arriving to Toronto as a refugee from Hungary in 1967, through hard work and determination Tom has found success selling suits in Kensington Market.

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 Victoria

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“It was a big honour for me to play on Canada Day…I can’t describe my feelings – it was wonderful.”

— Sari Alesh, Victoria BC

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Community support means Syrian violinist Sari Alesh is sharing his skills and love of music in Victoria as a private instructor for a new generation.

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 Winnipeg

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

“When I saw their dress – preserving their heritage and their origins – this made me happy”

—Najwa Hussein, Brandon MB

 

 
 
 
 
 

Supported by a deep friendship forged with the Hutterite community who welcomed her and her family to Canada, Najwa happily embraces her family’s new life in Brandon.

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 Whitehorse

 

 

“Here, I feel for the first time in five years that I’m free. I can go out and move around. I can learn.”

—Hussein Arafat, Whitehorse YK

 

 

The Arafat family is learning about local traditions in Whitehorse, grateful for the chance to dream up a new future.

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