This week saw events move quickly, as the committee received word that our application to sponsor the family — mother Nirmeen; father Mohamad; sons Mohamad Abdullah, and Zeid; and daughter Lyana — has been officially approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
We should soon receive a Notice of Arrival, confirming the itinerary of the newcomer family. Usually, the Notice of Arrival comes about five days before the newcomers are expected to arrive on Canadian soil. It’s quite likely that Nirmeen, Mohamad and the children will arrive during the Christmas holidays, which could pose some logistical difficulties, as a number of key people will not be in town during that time.
Our committee chair and logistical planneur-en-chef, Bob Taylor, would be grateful if any bilingual Arabic-English speakers are able to help out as interpreters during the holidays. Likewise, anyone who has a van or other large vehicle, and would be willing to pick up the family at the airport, can contact us.
On the housing front, Marc Rand has stepped up to offer temporary accommodation at his house on Ossington Avenue. Meanwhile, Michael Casey and Jennifer Graham have secured an option to rent a three-bedroom apartment in Vanier.
Clothes, furniture and other necessities are being gathered in anticipation of the family’s arrival. The list at the right of the page enumerates the items still needed, and we will do our best to keep it up-to-date. While Sarah Connor Gorber and her committee have been overwhelmed with people’s generous donations, she does ask people to please stick to the items on the list, as collecting and sorting the donations is a big job, and unneeded items will simply be donated onward.
A final note of thanks goes out to Sarah’s 11-year-old daughter Allison (pictured above) who employed her tech-savvy skills to build a Google-docs spreadsheet allowing volunteers to keep track of all the donations. Nice mitts, Allison!