Al Atmeh Family Update

May 1, 2018 by

Many of us enjoyed a visit with the Al Atmeh family at the Easter Breakfast, and I visited with them at their apartment recently.  Their English is strong enough that, although explanations were sometimes needed, Randa and Ahmed are quite able to join in conversations.  Randa says English is easier to learn than Arabic would be for a second language.

Randa now has her driver’s license and Ahmad has his G License.  Ahmad is starting Level 4 and this week is being tested on his knowledge of Ontario geography.  He plans to stay in school for a while yet before beginning his concrete business.  Sham is having difficulty learning English because her daycare is French speaking; however, she is registered to start junior kindergarten in September and should then learn quickly.

Randa told us that she met “friendly Frank Palin” the bus driver on an outing with  Heather and Faye.  She joked that now she has her license she may look for work driving a bus.  Randa has a vibrant sense of humor and seems quite happy in their current situation.

She recently underwent root canal treatment, which Ahmad paid for using VISA.  I reassured him that Gary will repay that cost.  I advised him to let us know when financial stresses like this arise, since we have money in the refugee account to support them through emergencies like this.

Ahmad told us that it is difficult now for him to save money since Effort Trust has raised their rent substantially.  He wants to find cheaper accommodation, possibly a townhouse which he believes would be less expensive.  Ahmad asked for help finding townhouse accommodation.  If anyone can help with this – let the committee know.

Ahmad has also asked for help to sponsor his two brothers.  He understands the cost, and that this is now at best a two year process.  The Newcomer Committee is gathering information about the cost and process.

They remain thankful to be in Canada and living in their current home.  They appreciate the continued support from the two churches.  Ahmad says he enjoys meeting people at the church, and we are always welcome to visit them at home.

Submitted by Al Palin, Co-Chair of the Newcomer Committee


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