An Edmonton dentist and his staff opened up their office last weekend to a group of Syrian refugees, many of whom had never had dental work done before.
After a Syrian family came to his office last month, Dr. Yousif Chaaban realized that refugees' dental coverage only took care of emergency surgery, not routine dental work.
So, he decided to do the work for free.
"Their teeth are just full of cavities, decay all over their teeth. It's unfortunate. They came to this country and a lot of them are in pain," Chaaban told CBC News. "We brought them in [today] because they don't have coverage."
A number of Syrian refugees in Canada have been facing serious dental health issues, many of which require emergency work.
On Sunday, Chaaban and his team at Oxford Dental helped out nearly 40 Syrian refugees.
An Edmonton company, Patterson Dental, provided the supplies.
Dr. Yousif Chaaban and his team at Oxford Dental are challenging other dentists to help Syrian refugees in Canada. pic.twitter.com/bOnB9mZXGN
— Sarah Kraus Global (@SarahNKraus) March 6, 2016
It's not the first time Chaaban has stepped up to help out his community. In 2015, he partnered with other dentists at Abbotsfield Dental to offer a free day of care for Edmonton's homeless youth.
Chaaban said there are many more refugees who need help, and is urging other dentists to lend a hand.
“I want all dentists to open up their eyes to this and hopefully open up their doors – be gracious and kind enough to help them,” Chaaban told Global News.
A bus in Calgary has been providing a similar service.
In February, the Alex Community Health Centre brought free mobile dental health care by bus to Syrian refugees in the city, according to Metro News.
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Joe Woodsworth, a senior manager with Surrey, B.C.-based Options Community Services picks up dozens of backpacks, each filled with school supplies for Syrian children. Operation Backpack is the idea of former 24Hours columnist Laila Yuile.
Malak arrived with her family in July after living in a Jordanian refugee camp for two years. Her teeth were so decayed the 5-year-old girl was kept up at night because of the pain until a local dentist stepped forward to help the family for free.
“Hopefully, together, we can prove that Canada in general and the Maritimes in particular are as generous and welcoming as the rest of the world thinks we are,” P.E.I. artist Amy Seymour told HuffPost Canada.
In November, the Edmonton Oilers captain gave $10,000 to Edmonton's Mennonite Centre for Newcomers to support their work in helping to resettle incoming Syrian refugees. The donation helped the group meet its two-month goal in a single day.
The Guelph businessman made headlines last month after stepping forward to say he intended to spend $1.5 million to privately sponsor 50 Syrian refugee families to come to Canada. Estill explained he was tired of seeing refugee applications get snarled in long, bureaucratic processes. "I'm a businessperson, I'm very impatient, and we should just do it now," he said.
“It’s really good to know that we’re so compassionate and that we want to help,” said Darrell McLeod of St. Clare's refugee family sponsorship group. “Everybody’s very excited about it. Everyone’s been really excited to make things happen.”
Westbank Developments founder Ian Gillespie is behind many of downtown Vancouver's glitziest skyscrapers.A descendant of Irish immigrants, he made a pledge in November to furnish a 12-unit West End apartment complex and open it to incoming refugees. He also said he's exploring ways to help Syrians get jobs after they arrive in the city.
A small group of from the Keewatin Otchitchak traditional women’s drum group gathered by baggage carousels to greet 17 Syrians to Treaty 1 with a song of welcome.
"I need to point out that the people who are desperate refugees are fleeing from the exact same people who perpetrated the kind of violence we saw in Paris and Beirut last week," the Calgary mayor told reporters a week after deadly attacks in France and Lebanon. "They're running away from the bad guys and, as such, we need to be able to open our arms to make sure that we can provide safety to these folks."
Christine Youssef (pictured) greets newly arrived Syrian relatives on a bus near Pearson International Airport in Mississauga on Dec. 11. Youssef and her mother are sponsoring 43 of their Syrian relatives to come to Canada. Thirteen have arrived and are staying at the family's small Scarborough, Ont. bungalow. Soon, nine of the relatives will move out, making room for more relatives to come in.
When CBC News reporter Eman Bare interviewed Mohamed Al-Noury, 21, and Athar Farroukh, 23, she realized the Syrian refugee couple had no wedding pictures. So Bare put a callout on soical media to surprise the high sweethearts with a wedding. Her request spread and within 24 hours people came forward donating a venue, suit, dress, and cake. "Grateful for a community that makes beautiful things happen," wrote Bare on Instagram below a photo taken at the couple's Saskatoon ceremony.