It has been a few years since seven Syrian refugee students came to Canada and entered school at Sunnyside Public School, but the success they have experienced and accomplishments they have earned are enough to last a lifetime.
In a November 2018 interview with CTV Kitchener, these young newcomers reflected on their experiences so far in Canada and what it was like to integrate into the community.
“It was kind of tough because I had no idea what it was like here and I didn’t know English,” Reem Al Sareski said of her initial fears.
“I was kind of shy when I came here and was worried I’d be lonely and have nobody,’ Sajjad Alroomi agreed.
But the staff and students at Sunnyside PS opened their doors and hearts to their new students by creating inclusive and welcoming spaces to learn and grow.
“They just have a special way of teaching here. They teach in a way that makes it easy to learn,” said Mubarak Abouhussini.
When it comes to Syrian refugee students, Principal Jeff Lovell noted some qualities that stand out amongst all of them – “They have resiliency, they want to learn, and have a desire to improve. They’re eager to take on anything that’s offered to them and really want to get involved.”
Staff at Sunnyside PS have shared what a pleasure it has been to watch these students develop and learn new skills – including English. They are looking forward to seeing them accomplish new goals that they have set for themselves.
“I’m starting to work on my grammar,” said Farhan Chowdhury.
“My goal is now to speak French. When I was in Syria, my goal was to speak English – and now I want to learn French,” said Mohammad Keid.
When it comes to a message that these students would share with others who are coming to Canada, they would offer this advice: “Buy lots of coats because it’s cold here,” said Mobina Noori.
And Tartell Abdella offers some encouragement, “take care of yourself and know that you’re not alone…there are a lot of people who want to help you here.”