Za'atari is a refugee camp -- 80,000 people live here now -- but it is in the process of becoming a city. New people are not arriving, another camp is taking those people now. And it is hard to know how many more people Jordan can take -- this country of a little more than six million people is also home to nearly three million refugees.
Truthfully, unless you are a member of our indigenous peoples, we are all immigrants, regardless if you gained your citizenship yesterday or 16 generations ago. Historically, immigrants and refugees who adopted Canada as their country of choice contributed to the development of Canada's social, economic and civil fabric.
Even those Canadians reporting the highest knowledge about immigration history believe we have always been welcoming. Yet the country's history offers more than enough examples of restrictive immigration practices to suggest that there is at least a bit of ignorance among those of us presuming the most knowledge.
After living amid the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey for a year after graduating from the University of Toronto, Nouhaila Chelkhaoui knew she wanted to help make a positive impact on the lives of newcomers. Her return to Toronto gave her the opportunity to do just that, as she joined U of T startup iamsick's newest initiative, which helps refugees navigate Canada's complex healthcare system.
Unless the world unites as a federation, as a whole, it will be very difficult to stop our future generations to suffer calamities on a proportion which this globe has never been exposed to before. One example is climate change. New models now predict the possibility of flooding occurring at major cities at a much faster pace than was thought before.
Right now, 71 per cent of Canadians do not want Canada to accept above the original target of 25,000 Syrians. The warm feeling of moral righteousness is not particularly useful for devising a policy at a time when 60 per cent of Americans agree with Donald Trump's proposal to ban entry of all non-citizen Muslims to the United States.
They first installed Bill C-31 to target the refugees, then in 2014 enacted Bill C-24 that turned immigrants and their families into second-class citizens. During that time, the Conservatives scrapped 280,000 skilled worker immigration applications. They stripped tens of thousands of foreign students of the opportunity to seek work and stay in Canada. They raised the bar for immigrants to become citizens.
Despite all the legal battles Mohamed Harkat and his wife have been conducting to allow him to stay in Canada, he finds himself today facing deportation to Algeria. Recently CBSA filed a report where it plainly concludes that Mohamed Harkat should be deported to Algeria, despite the risk of being tortured there if he returns.
Home is a tent divided in two for Um Yasmine and her five children. The Syrian widow fled to a dusty field in Lebanon three years ago, as war piled up bodies around her beloved city of Homs. Now, a bedsheet hangs down the middle of her crowded tent shared with another refugee family. Um Yasmine is so tired of this makeshift life. She just wants to go home.
While the prospect of purchasing a home for the first time in Canada is an exciting and important step, many newcomers choose to rent for the first several months to a year (or longer) after their arrival. Before deciding whether to rent or buy, it's important that you know what you can afford, weigh the options available and take the time to make the right decisions that will ensure a successful future in Canada.
"Bravo, sister. I honour you. I would do anything to take away some of the pain that you've experienced. And I know that I'll never understand what you carry around inside. But your children -- they're so beautiful. And you've used all of your resources -- your love, your patience, and your creativity -- to keep them alive and healthy. You've taught them when there was no school and comforted them when there was nothing comforting to say. You've made 'home' in camps, tents, and on the side of the road. I will do whatever I can, through my donations, through my prayers and through my writing, to help carry your children to safety and happiness."
When some may think it's best to mind their own business when a very close friend is about to make a really bad decision, I believe it's important to let them know. With the strong possibility that the highly divisive Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for the United States presidency, it is often out of friendship that many Canadians feel compelled to share their concerns with their neighbours to the south. After all, as friends, we don't want walls between us.
A desperate Syrian mother in a refugee camp tried to give me her sick little girl on my last visit to the region's conflict zones and neighbouring countries filled with fleeing people. She wanted me to take her child back to Canada for medical care. That day, I saw misery and despair that no one should bear.
One of the first things you'll need to do is open a Canadian bank account. This will give you a safe place to deposit and access your money whenever you need it. Canada's banking system can differ from other countries, and it takes time to understand the various types of financial institutions, bank accounts and services available.