November 29, 2016
"My five-year-old son is correcting me," said Emad Al Hariri, smiling broadly, proudly, as though it were the best thing in the world, and it is.
Emad's English is admirable (he's almost finished his ESL levels), his son's even better. Young brains inhale language, are enriched by it, like oxygen. Mohammed is in kindergarten at Earl Kitchener and adapting – Emad is searching for the word; he has the meaning – as fast as Canadian life can throw down stuff for the youngster to adapt to.
Emad, his sons, Mohammad and Yousself, and his wife, Kothar, were among dozens of mostly Syrian refugees and yet as many representatives of sponsor groups, municipal government, settlement and other help organizations, gathered at City Hall for a great celebration. It was to thank the community for its welcome and inclusiveness, including the refugees themselves, who are already enriching the city.