THE ALYOUSEF FAMILY - Winter to Spring
The first signs of spring bring a sigh of relief to many of us. Amongst the crowd welcoming the warmer weather are the Alyousefs. Having arrived in early December family members have ‘survived’ their first winter in Northern Ontario. During the winter they have been working hard at developing their English language, with remarkable skill demonstrated in this short time. The 6 kids are engaged in their schools, which range from pre-school nursery to college level, while father and mother attend daily ESL with other adults at the LINC program in Sudbury. In addition, the elementary age children attend Saturday Arabic School, at which an older daughter volunteers. With guidance and support of the sponsoring committee and team of volunteers, family members have been attending their requisite health and dental appointments, have assumed independence with their weekly shopping, and are effectively managing their affairs. During these months members of the family have embraced some typically Canadian activities: skating, hockey and snowball fights!
The Alyousefs have left their large closely knit extended family to arrive in Canada as refugees and to establish a new life. Their eldest son remains in Germany at this time and application through family reunification has been made. Although anxious to see this happen, we know this will be a lengthy process. Gradually the family is making connections to others in the local Arabic community. In the Arabic tradition, the Alyousefs are most hospitable, and a visitor is unable to depart without first consuming some delicious Syrian cooking, tea and Arabic coffee.
As we move into spring and summer, we look forward to supporting the Alyousefs as they continue to experience and learn to live through the change of season, and all that means, in our community.