November 19, 2018

Winnipeg
-13° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Call to aid Syrians as we did Vietnamese

Locals ask Canada to launch huge rescue mission

Jude Kasas came here as a student 15 years ago and has built a life with his wife, Alia Harb, daughter, Dujahn, and sons, Kemiee and Jadd (back row).

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jude Kasas came here as a student 15 years ago and has built a life with his wife, Alia Harb, daughter, Dujahn, and sons, Kemiee and Jadd (back row).

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/9/2015 (1172 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The image of a lifeless three-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a Turkish beach haunts the president of the Syrian Assembly of Manitoba.

"It could've been my kid," said Jude Kasas, who has three young children. Like millions of people around the world, they've seen the heartbreaking photo of Alan Kurdi, he said.

"Fortunately, (my kids) don't realize that, as kids of a Syrian man, they could've been in that situation."

Had he not come to Canada as an international student 15 years ago and stayed, he and his family could be among the desperate Syrians boarding dangerous boats in the Mediterranean, he said.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/9/2015 (1172 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The image of a lifeless three-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a Turkish beach haunts the president of the Syrian Assembly of Manitoba.

"It could've been my kid," said Jude Kasas, who has three young children. Like millions of people around the world, they've seen the heartbreaking photo of Alan Kurdi, he said.

"Fortunately, (my kids) don't realize that, as kids of a Syrian man, they could've been in that situation."

Had he not come to Canada as an international student 15 years ago and stayed, he and his family could be among the desperate Syrians boarding dangerous boats in the Mediterranean, he said.

"Canada was the best option, and it is still the best option."

He hopes the image of the child's tragic death haunts governments around the world and moves them to act — especially Canada's government.

This may be Canada's chance "to be mentioned in the good books of history" if it opens its doors to Syria, said Kasas.

"What should happen now is what should have happened three or four years ago when we started asking the federal government of the world's second-largest country and a member of the G7 to help. With all the resources we have, we could share in the burden and open our doors like Germany and Turkey have been doing," he said.

"All we're asking for is a chance for the families to come here to Canada and contribute to Canadian society. Those people are desperate for a safe place and Canada... has that.

"I think political will is what we're missing right now," Kasas said.

"To me and so many of my friends, this is becoming an election factor. Our decision in October will be influenced by this. We have seen our current government demonstrate an unwillingness and unwelcomeness to the Syrian community."

It's allowed too few privately sponsored Syrian refugees into Canada and hasn't stepped up to provide government assistance to resettle more, he said. To privately sponsor a refugee requires a major cash outlay upfront — $25,000 for a family of five, he said. That's too much for the small and fledgling Syrian community in Manitoba to do on its own, he added. It has joined with the group Refuge Winnipeg to sponsor three large Syrian families who are waiting in a Lebanese refugee camp to come to Manitoba.

"This is an opportunity for Canada to be mentioned in the good books of history," said Kasas. "It's chance to do it again like when we helped the Vietnamese by sponsoring over 50,000 of them. We can do it again and give the Syrian refugees special consideration. They are completely desperate," he said.

"All they're asking for is to live in a safe place and re-establish their lives."

Canada, which relies on immigration for population growth, would benefit, he said. "We need people to help us drive our economy."

Syrian newcomers would be a good fit for Canada, said Kasas.

"English is taught as a second language in Syria and a lot of families are highly educated and highly skilled and will contribute to society. We're talking about very hard-working people."

Helping them resettle here would be a good investment, said Kasas.

"It will cost some money but once the families come here and establish themselves, they become taxpayers and part of the Canadian mosaic."

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 6:48 AM CDT: Replaces photo

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us