Encountering New Canadians: Building Peace Through Relationship Building
Yesterday the Gr. 10 IMAGINE class had the privilege of welcoming four new Canadians, named Mohammed, Yusef, Izra and Myriam, to their classroom. These guests were recent refugees from Syria who were sponsored by local families and churches. In addition, several staff from Mennonite Central Committee and members of the Rosthern community joined in the activity.
The first part of the morning was spent with introductions and an Arabic writing lesson. With some intensive help students learned how to write their names in Arabic.
During this time there were also opportunities for questions and answers. Guests spoke about topics like the kind of schooling they received in Syria and the significance of naming in the Middle East.
The second half of the session was spent in conversation. Students received a traditional tea made of cinnamon and walnuts. The consensus was that it was very delicious! The conversation that followed was primarily focused on Islam and the experience of being a refugee. In particular, students were curious to learn more about the five pillars of Islam, prayers, head coverings, and the challenge of leaving one’s home and moving to a new place.
The Gr. 10 IMAGINE class is grateful for having had the opportunity to build new relationships and welcome these new Canadians into their classroom.