Lokman Mustafa, Hussam Alhasan and Mustafa and Ahmed Zaqrit dance with the crowd in a traditional circle dance at the 24th annual Roots and Blues Festival. (File photo)

Syrian refugee responds to racism in Canada

Guest columnist Mustafa Zaqrit

Whenever I write about racism, I must mention the fact that more than 95 per cent of the people I have met and dealt with are super nice.

I would probably have avoided discussing this topic if what I hear is from someone on the street, but when it’s out of a university student’s mouth, I am bringing it up.

To those who don’t know the definition of a “refugee,” please look it up.

I understand we live in a country where we all have the freedom of speech, but the question is: does this freedom extend to include changing facts? Here is one of the facts that I have seen being changed: I received $750 a month from the government for six months as a start. Why do I hear from people that every Syrian refugee is getting $2,000 a month?

Related: City welcomes refugee

Related:Citizens mourn shooting victims

To someone who tells me I am not a Canadian—if Canadian means a person who has citizenship status—in three or four months I will be. But if a Canadian means a person who loves the country and respects its law, I have been Canadian from the first day I landed in 2016. I understand very well my rights and responsibilities.

And no, I am not a terrorist.

It’s your lack of reading that’s the problem if you don’t understand the reasons that forced me to leave Syria. I stood up for what all Canadians believe in. I was out protesting against a dictatorship at the time I lost my mother, brother, uncles, friends and home, and for requesting women rights, better education and a better Syria.

I beg you, if you don’t agree with a political party, don’t throw us under the wheels. We have suffered enough.

Please understand, we came to Canada under the Canadian law and as a result of a decision made by a legally elected person.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Former Kelowna hockey player dies after battle with ALS

Mitch Wilson was born in Kelowna and was 57 when he died

Toddler sustains serious injuries after falling from Rutland balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment on May 18

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bus pull returns to Kelowna with record 17 teams

Teams of eight people will pull a BC Transit bus for their community on May 25

Search for missing kayaker turned over to West Kelowna RCMP

A 71-year-old man’s kayak floated ashore on Friday

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Okanagan medical cannabis shop shutting doors

Herb’s Health Centre has been operating without a city business licence for nearly a year

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Most Read