ALBERTA

Saskatoon Throws Surprise Wedding For Syrian Refugees

12/07/2015 03:08 EST | Updated 12/08/2015 12:59 EST

A young Syrian couple were surprised with a wedding party in their new home of Saskatoon — a week after they told a reporter that they never got photos of their original nuptials overseas.

CBC News reporter Eman Bare was interviewing Mohamed Al-Noury, 21, and Athar Farroukh, 23, for a story when she learned the pair had no wedding photos.

“I just started thinking and I said, ‘Well I have a camera. If you want tomorrow, I can take a couple [of] wedding-type pictures for you,’” Bare told CBC News.

Bare put out a call on Facebook on Saturday about her idea.

“The couple is in their early 20s, and have been living in Saskatoon for the past year. Their family is all stuck in Syria,” Bare wrote. “I offered to take photos of them tomorrow... But thought it would be so amazing to surprise them with a wedding celebration.”

Over 130 people shared her message — and locals began to step forward.

Someone donated a dress, and another person offered a wedding cake decorated with pink fondant flowers.

On Sunday afternoon, Farroukh held a bouquet of donated flowers as she walked into the Delta Bessborough’s ballroom, a venue donated by the hotel.

Watch video of the couple’s entrance:

Mohamad Al-Noury and Athar Farroukh were thrown a surprise wedding party today in Saskatoon.

Posted by CBC Saskatoon on Sunday, December 6, 2015


About 50 people showed up to celebrate with Al-Noury and Farroukh.

Bare shared a few photos from the “improv wedding.”


“He look a little funny,” Farroukh said about her husband to the StarPhoenix. “It’s the first time he’s worn a suit.”

Residents are smitten about the story. “I love what Saskatonians can do in 24 hours!” Dawn Torvik-Wahba commented on Facebook. “Congratulations.”

Bare, too, was heartened over the outpouring of community support that helped make the surprise wedding celebration happen.

“Thank you for reminding me how amazing people are,” she wrote on Facebook.

“I love what Saskatonians can do in 24 hours!”

The couple, who met in high school, told the StarPhoenix they had plans to wed in Syria, but they were forced to flee after a bombing campaign destroyed their home. So they got married in a Lebanese refugee camp instead.

They arrived in Canada last year as government-sponsored refugees.

According to CTV News, Al-Noury and Farroukh want to remain in Saskatoon.

Also on HuffPost:

Coquitlam Donors Furnish Home For Refugee Family