Syrian family ready to arrive into Canada after living in Lebanon since 2013
Lebanon straining under the influx of over a million Syrian refugees
By Susan Ormiston, CBC News Posted: Nov 25, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 25, 2015 11:00 AM ET
Samer al-Bawab pauses, wrestling with emotion, as he explains why he’s abandoning his homeland, Syria, for Canada.
“I think about Syria every day in my heart”, he says. “But it’s getting worse and worse.”
“I’m from Homs,” he explains from a rooftop apartment in north Lebanon. “It’s only an hour from here, but I can’t even go back to see family.”
The 29-year-old father of two is one of the 1.2 million Syrians who have fled over the borders to Lebanon. One in five people in Lebanon now is a Syrian refugee, an influx that is straining the country’s tolerance and humanitarian aid.
Canada’s newly unveiled plan to bring in 25,000 refugees to Canada, now by March 2016, will likely include al-Bawab, his wife and two children.
They were meant to fly out on Sunday, bound for Toronto, but have been delayed they were told, in order to finalize a visa for their newborn. Canada’s minister of immigration announced Tuesday the government would extend its end-of-year deadline to “do it right.”