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It’s a different world for baby Sara

March 26, 2016   ·   0 Comments

On March 10, Headwaters Hospital helped Emad and Razan Alhajali welcome the safe arrival of baby Sara, the first of their children to be born on Canadian soil.

Sara begins her life in a very different world than her brother and sister.

The family arrived with their two children in Orangeville on December 14 as part of the refugee sponsorship program helping families escape the horrors of the war in Syria.

As a midwife in Syria, Razan had no other thought than to have the baby at home with midwife support. Despite her great respect and faith in her midwife team in Orangeville, complications meant that Razan would deliver Sara at Headwaters Hospital in the late evening.

Little Sara, weighing in at seven pounds, is the first Canadian-Syrian baby to be born in Dufferin County from the immigration initiative.

Brian and Philomena Logel, who spearheaded the Headwater Refugee Sponsorship Committee that worked for months to bring the family out of Jordan, say “Sara is named after their (Emad and Razan) Canadian friend in Jordan who helped us with the translation of their documents and originally suggested they try to immigrate to Canada.”

The Alhajali’s were the first of Syrian families to arrive in Dufferin and just four of the 25,000 expected in Canada in the next few months.

Their two young children, now eight-year-old Hamoudi and nine-year-old Fatema, were refugees in Jordan for nearly four years; the children waited more than half their lives for war to end.

The family is working very hard to master English and encourage the children to “say it in English” around the home.

“They write new vocabulary down and practice words with the entire family,” says Brian Logel. “They only use Google Translate or their English/Arabic dictionary when completely stuck or when something important or technical has to be communicated.

“They are anxious to begin the ESL night school classes offered by Upper Grand, but are worried there will not be enough students for the board to offer the classes in April. They attend Language Instruction for New Comers in Bolton daily and are impatient to learn at a more rapid pace. Their sponsorship group will soon begin additional private lessons for them in their home.

“I know they are thrilled with the arrival of Sara. Each family member lights up when the baby awakes and there is great competition with visitors as to who gets the privilege of holding her. They were a close knit family before, but Sara seems to have pulled them together in an even tighter bond.”

By Marni Walsh

         

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