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What Are Syrian Refugees Like? This Canadian Found Out.

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Syrian refugees are "just like you and I."

That's what Rob Green realized after meeting Rasheed Al Abadeen.

Green, a realtor who lives in Guelph, Ont., posted a photo on Facebook with Al Abadeen Friday.

"I want to make a shout out to my new friend,” he wrote in the post.

Green explained how Al Abadeen jumped in to help “complete strangers” as they were coping with the aftermath of an ice storm.

rob green
Rob Green and Rasheed Al Abadeen in Elora, Ont. (Photo: Rob Green/Facebook)

On Thursday, as parts of Ontario were blasted with severe winter weather, Green offered help to members of his community facing damage caused by the storm.

"Willing to assist any way I can," he wrote in a Facebook post.

The next day he showed up in full gear, ready to cut and clear fallen trees near a friend's house. A few others joined in to help, as Canadians often do in the face of winter weather. But among the familiar faces was a new one.

"It's a small town, Elora, everyone kind of knows each other and helps out," Green told The Huffington Post Canada. "So he just kind of fit in."

After the job was done, Green was introduced to Al Abadeen and learned that he just arrived in Canada a few weeks ago through a private sponsorship by a church. The Syrian refugee spent the past four years at a camp in Jordan, and found out he was moving to Canada just days before boarding the plane.

"He's part of the community now."

"He just arrived in Canada with his family and dove right in today to help fellow Canadians how ever he could!" Green wrote in his Facebook post, which has already been shared more than 200 times.

Like many Canadians, Green has been hearing and reading about Syrian refugees arriving to the country, but he had never met one before.

"It's nice to put a face to the name of Syrian refugees," Green told HuffPost Canada. "So many people have their own expectations or interpretation of what they think they look like, or how they're going to act."

What Green realized was Syrian refugees are more similar to us than they are different.

"They're just like everyone else in the community that would be helping out. And he's part of the community now."

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