We have some very exciting news! Yesterday we were informed of the family we are matched with. It is quite an extraordinary story. We are sponsoring a family of three: Khaldoon Sinjab, his wife Yusra, and Judi, their daughter (age 11). They are in Lebanon currently, and have been since 2013. The approximate arrival time we were given is six months, but that may, and hopefully will change with our efforts.
Khaldoon is a quadriplegic. He was 17, a member of the Syrian swim team in the nineties and a star student when he had an accident swimming and sustained a broken 2nd vertebrae. Now he requires machines to help him breathe. He is bedridden, able only to move his lips, tongue and eyes. He concentrated on studying programming and learning English. He has a special mouse that was designed for him and has a successful career in programming. He supported his family and bought a house in a small town outside of Damascus. When the electricity got cut after the fighting became intense, they had no choice but to leave, his friends literally carrying him out of their apartment along with a generator to keep his breathing machine working.
They finally ended up in Lebanon, where the electricity goes out at least once a day. There was a petition to ask the UK to take him and his family in, with tens of thousands of signatures, but London never responded. And now we are sponsoring Khaldoon, Yusra and Judy. We are hoping we can get them here faster than six months as Khaldoon’s life is in danger every day with the power outages.
There is much out there on Khaldoon. Global News, CTV, and other media have featured his story. We are fortunate that we are able to know so much about who we are sponsoring! Here is a recent piece written about the Khaldoun. http://www.syriadeeply.org/articles/2015/10/8635/khaldoun-sinjab-life-constant-struggle/
Seven of us had a meeting today at Field Trip cafe with the family’s Canadian contact Ammar who we are so fortunate to have helping us. We started discussions about what the family’s needs will be when they arrive in Canada. Ammar was messaging with Khaldoon while we were having coffee and we even got to have a Skype conversation with Khaldoon and his wife Yusra. It was around 10pm in Lebanon so their daughter was already asleep. We also learned that both Yusra and Judi also speak English.
It’s been a very exciting, surreal and emotional 24 hours since we heard the news. We are beyond excited to welcome Khaldoon, Yusra and Judi to Canada.