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Syrian Refugees Give Back to Fort McMurray Evacuees

Landscape_view_of_wildfire_near_Highway_63_in_south_Fort_McMurray_(cropped) DarrenRD wikimedia commons
DarrenRD/wikimedia commons

Syrian refugees in Calgary are giving what they can to support the Fort McMurray evacuees, after relatively new arrival Rita Khanchet posted an appeal on a private Facebook group for newcomers.

“It’s not easy to lose everything. We can understand them more than anyone in Canada. We were in the same situation,” Khanchet told the Calgary Herald. “Me and my family wanted to do something for these people. Canadian society helped us when we came to Canada.”

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“It’s amazing. You have to understand how little these guys have,” said Syrian Refugee Support Group co-founder Saima Jamal. Yet “all the Syrians are saying, ‘I’m ready to give, I’m ready to give,’” she noted. “They understand the idea of an entire city losing their home. That’s something they can easily relate to. They went through that.”

While many of the refugees were prepared to donate furniture or clothing they had received when they arrived in Canada a few months ago, the group ultimately decided to collect $5 per person from anyone who could afford it. The funds will help cover the cost of hygiene items for the evacuees.

Not to be outdone, the satire site The Beaverton is out with a fictitious reaction to the Syrians’ generosity from right wing pundit Ezra Levant. The story has the bombastic Levant uncovering “dozens of tweets, written in Arabic, outlining a conspiracy by the newly resettled Muslims to unleash huge amounts food, shelter, and money out of their own pockets” on the unsuspecting Fort Mac evacuees.

“We always knew these people were coming here with an agenda,” Levant is quoted as saying. “Now we finally know what it is: to take advantage of the kindness and generosity of hard working Canadians, and then, when we’re most vulnerable, reciprocate it tenfold.”