Syrian refugee family names baby Justin as gesture of thanks

Syrian refugee family names baby Justin as gesture of thanks

Grateful to PM and all Canadians for help

The Doso family’s gratitude to Canada is embodied in the cutest package ever.

Seven-day-old Justin Doso’s name is a thank-you gesture from the Syrian refugee family-of-six to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all Canadians.

Ahmed Doso, his wife and three sons, lived in a refugee camp in Turkey for a year after fleeing Syria and its civil war. When he submitted his refugee application he had only one destination in mind — Canada.

Justin Trudeau and the country of freedom he leads were big reasons why.

“They saw how he feels about Syria,” says Suaad Al-Aghbari, who is with Red Deer’s Catholic Social Services and translated Ahmed’s Arabic in an interview in their West Park home on Wednesday.

“I saw him as very different than all of the other prime ministers. He said he was going to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada.”

Ahmed was also impressed that Trudeau met arriving Syrians at the airport and sat down with them for a meal dressed in traditional clothing on another occasion.

“It’s more than like,” he said of his feelings for our prime minister. “I admire him. That’s why I named my son Justin.”

It was a difficult journey reaching Canada. A restaurateur, who owned two restaurants in Damascus, Ahmed had to leave all behind for the sake of his wife, Zehra Elmuhammed, and their children, son Muhammed, 10; twin six-year-old boys, Raddat and Musan; and five-year-old son Sultan.

They regularly heard the blasts of bombs and artillery. Schools had closed and the “kids were always crying,” he said.

In Turkey, they lived in a tent and the camp was so dangerous that Ahmed ventured out alone to get supplies, leaving his wife and children behind for their safety.

After being accepted by Canada as refugees, the family flew to Montreal and a day later were in their new home, Red Deer.

Canada has lived up to their expectations.

“I would like to thank all of the people of Red Deer and how they have helped us,” he says. “We don’t feel we’re strangers. We feel like this is our country.

“We don’t feel different. Most people in Red Deer, as soon as they heard there was a new Syrian family they just helped us with everything they could.

“People are very helpful, smiling faces everywhere. They are so polite to the kids.”

The boys go to school at West Park Elementary School and all are learning English. The boys like their teachers, sports and their new friends.

Ahmed said he hopes to open a restaurant in Red Deer and looks forward to a future where his sons have a good education.

He wants to offer special thanks to Catholic Social Services and its staff, who have helped the family so much, and were by Zehra’s side throughout her pregnancy.

Since December, 31 Syrian refugees families, 168 people in all, have been settled in Red Deer.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo).
Red Deer’s downtown restaurants can apply for patio licences

It will allow for expanded seating capacity

Some workers at Sobeys in Rocky Mountain House have recently tested positive for COVID-19. (File photo)
Sobeys in Rocky Mountain House reports COVID-19 workers

10 positive tests since last Thursday

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

63 per cent said equality between men and women has not been achieved

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, anti-coup protesters run as one of them discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by riot policemen in Yangon, Myanmar. The escalation of violence in Myanmar as authorities crack down on protests against the Feb. 1 coup is adding to pressure for more sanctions against the junta, as countries struggle over how to best confront military leaders inured to global condemnation. (AP Photo/File)
Escalating violence raises pressure for Myanmar sanctions

More shootings were reported over the weekend

A moth-killing drone hovers over crops in a green house in Monster, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. A Dutch startup is using drones to kill moths in midair as a way of protecting valuable crops in greenhouses that are damaged by caterpillars. PATS Indoor Drone Solutions emerged from the work of a group of students looking for ways to kill mosquitos in their dorm rooms. The drones themselves are very basic, but they are steered by smart technology and special cameras that scan the airspace in greenhouses. When the cameras detect a moth, a drone is set on a collision course with the bug, destroying the bug with its rotors. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)
Drones vs hungry moths: Dutch use hi-tech to protect crops

Drones instantly kill the moths by flying into them

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Treena Mielke
Seasons changing: Hope around the corner with vaccines

The month of March is leaving its muddy footprint on the land… Continue reading

Hamilton Forge FC’s Giuliano Frano (8) heads the ball against CD Olimpia’s Jorge Benguche (9) during Scotiabank CONCACAF League 2019 second half soccer action in Hamilton, Ont., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. Forge FC owner Bob Young says the Canadian Premier League champions will be playing the Canadian Championship final against Toronto FC at a disadvantage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power
Forge FC owner upset at Canada Soccer’s timing of Canadian Championship final

Winner of Canadian Championship final earns a berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League

Team Wild Card Two skip Kevin Koe reacts to his shot as he plays Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Brier in Calgary, Alta., on March 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Wild Card Two’s Koe beats Gushue 9-7 to hand defending champs first loss at the Brier

Gushue was a tad heavy with his final draw and Koe picked it out for the victory

(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No regrets: Grammy-nominated DJ Jayda G on choosing beats over sciences career

TORONTO — House music producer Jayda G knows a thing or two… Continue reading

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking about expecting their second child during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” airs March 7 as a two-hour exclusive primetime special on the CBS Television Network. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
UK royals absorb shock of revealing Harry, Meghan interview

Anti-monarchy group Republic said the interview gave a clearer picture of what the royal family is like

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

Most Read