“Yes, even if we have to go all the way to Canada,” he said, naming the most far-flung place he could imagine.
In February of 2016, there was a spot for him, his wife Elham and his 17-year-old son Eyad to come to Canada as refugees. The family settled in Saint John, where Almouradi says he’s thankful for the help they’ve received.
“I like people of Saint John. Not the same as my country’s. Everyone helps me,” he said.
But there’s something missing: with the large number of Syrians going to Canada — more than 40,000 since November 2015, according to Citizenship and Immigration — there was no room for Almouradi’s daughter Rania and her family to go along.
After fleeing to Egypt, Almouradi learned that one of his two sons had been killed while volunteering at a Syrian hospital. The devastating news triggered multiple heart attacks.
Now, he has only 17 per cent of his normal cardiac function and says his heart will never stop aching until his family is reunited.
But his long wait may be nearing an end.