Discover Syria an overwhelming success

Learning about Syria from local refugees

Red Deerians are eager to hear from Syrian refugees and learn about their homeland judging from the crowd of about 75 who attended the Discover Syria event Thursday night at G. H. Dawe Community Centre.

Presented by Red Deer Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program, chairs were set up around five tables where Syrians spoke about their country’s culture, history, education, food and their own stories.

Alla Mysko, Adult Literacy Program manager, said the event was luckily able to expand into two activity rooms to accommodate more people than anticipated for the free event.

Mysko said she still had to turn people away, but with all the interest there could be another event held in the future.

Val Neilson said she wanted to attend to meet the newcomers to Red Deer and learn about their culture.

“I want to be inclusive of people that are coming from different countries. It’s just really important to me,” Neilson said.

“I’m really excited to listen to them.”

She said Canadians are lucky to born in a country where there’s no war. She couldn’t imagine the difficulties and horrors Syrian families have faced.

“They have to leave their own culture. They have to run for their lives. They have to come where it’s cold and where it’s different. Yes there’s opportunity, but you leave your families behind lots of times,” Neilson said.

Refugee Shihab Al-Nahar said he volunteered to talk about the cultural history of Syria because it sounded like a good way to introduce Canadians to Syria.

He said before the war, most people would not have known where Syria was located.

“Now when they hear about Syria it’s only the bad news, the war, the very horrible things. We thought it’s nice to show the nice side of Syria before the war, how it was,” said Al-Nahar who was one of about a dozen Syrians who participated in Discover Syria.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Notley pleads with political foes, allies to support Alberta pipeline projects

OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley issued warnings to all political parties… Continue reading

Liberals look to ease affordability concerns with release of housing strategy

OTTAWA — The federal government will unveil its highly anticipated national housing… Continue reading

Accused murderer takes stand

Jason Klaus said he had no idea his family would be killed by Joshua Frank

St. Patrick’s school modernization could include asbestos removal

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have told staff, students and parents connected… Continue reading

Campaign renews push to make Bighorn Backcountry a wildland provincial park, ATV groups unhappy

A push to provide provincial protection for the Bighorn Backcountry area has… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Update: Innisfail girl found

A 15-year-old missing Innisfail girl has been located safe and sound. Police… Continue reading

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month