Samar Al Hbayo and her children stand with members of the Ali Refugee Sponsorship Group.

Photo Credit: Kevin Forsyth / PQB News

Bringing Distant Family to a New Home

Going to see a poet could help bring these brothers and sisters back together again

Families helping families

Imagine living in constant fear for your life in an active warzone?

That’s what Samar Al Hbayo’s family lived through for a year before escaping Syria.

They moved to Lebanon, but life there was tough. They were shunned and attacked for being Syrian.

But nearly five years ago, the Ali Refugee Sponsorship Group (ARSG) helped Samar, her husband, and three young children move to Parksville.

Since then, they’ve learned English, found work, and given back to their community. Life hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been happy.

The family has also saved about $30,000 in hopes of bringing other relatives from Lebanon to VanIsle. Relocating their family members to Parksville would only take another $15,000.

So Al Hbayo has teamed up with the folks at ARSG to raise the money. They’re hosting a charity concert by celebrated Canadian poet Shane Koyczan at Knox United Church on June 5.

All the funds will go towards helping Al Hbayo’s brother Ali, his wife Suhair, and their three children, Radwan, 19, Qusai, 17, and Mohamed, 14 make a new home in Parksville.

This family has suffered through more than a year of airstrikes. They’re injured from the shelling. But they have pushed through all of this and are looking forward to starting a new life.

They are looking for safety, family, and a new community.

This will be the third family the sponsorship group has brought to Parksville—Al Hbayo’s other brother, Bader, and his family arrived in late 2019.

Buy your tickets to support this family and see a great show. You’ll be making a huge difference in their lives and showing the compassion in our Parksville community.