Syrian family struggling to reconcile good fortune in Winnipeg with barrage of bad news from home

In News by MIIC

Magda (left) and Muhamd Asliman say they’re grateful to be in Winnipeg with their children, but feel powerless to help those they left back home in Syria. In front of their 4-year-old son Ahmed, Magda holds a photo of Muhamd’s brother Fahdi, who died. (Erin Brohman/CBC)

A young family from Syria is grateful to have found safety and freedom in Canada, but they’re still plagued by fear and grief over what’s happening back home.

“Everyday have bad news for my country. Brother dead. Cousin dead. Every day. Sometimes I am scared [of] my phone,” said Muhamd Asliman, a father of four. He and his family came to Canada from a refugee camp in Jordan a year and a half ago.

Last week, Muhamd learned that his younger brother had been killed by a bomb from a plane flying over Damascus.

Muhamd says his brother was working as a truck driver to support his wife and four young children.

“And after that the plane everywhere have bomb. And friends call family your brother dead. Now I don’t know how can … it’s my brother dead. He have four kids. Don’t have anything now for them. Need for rent. Need for eat. It’s everything difficult,” he said.

Muhamd and his wife Magda have come a long way since escaping the same war four years ago. They arrived to Canada with only the clothes they were wearing and unable to speak any English.

Eighteen months later, they have made a home in a two-bedroom apartment in Lavallee.

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