The conflict in Syria has been going on far too long, and though this temporary truce may be the beginning of the end of the war, some positives have emerged. The civil war has shown us what the positives of human capabilities.
This past Saturday marked the arrival of the 25 000th refugee from Syria to Canada since November. An incredible 98 flights have landed in Canada with Syrian refugees spread out to over 250 communities from British Columbia, to Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario according to CBC News. The refugees have settled in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto, Ottawa, and London.
The incredibly positive reception the refugees have received shows the best of the Canadian spirit. The RCMP led the way by recognizing the need to make sure the refugees did not feel threatened by police. After all, they had come from a country where a government was killing its own citizens.
So, RCMP Acting Sgt. Lin Dabit organized a plan to reassure refugees that the RCMP and local police shouldn’t be feared. Dabit said, “I saw the people that we’re bringing in. I saw it with my own eyes. These are people with children. These are people who are no different than any of us.
Contrast this reception and the number of refugees Canada has welcomed warmly with the only 2 647 refugees that have arrived in the United States, according to The New York Times, or the call from Macedonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia to fence off their borders to the desperate refugees seeking a new life or safety from war and death.
The quintessential Canadian spirit is best shown by Winnipeg women Mary McDonald who came up with an initiative called, “Have Tea With Me.” She asked her fellow citizens in Winnipeg to invite Muslims, especially Muslim women, into their homes to have tea with them. They could share stories, talk, and realize that very little separates them.
I’ll let Ms. McDonald sum it up. She said, “It’s a great way to create new bonds of friendship and connection and understanding. The more of those we make, we feel that makes our society stronger and it can work against those other forces we see rising.”
Let’s use Ms. McDonald as an example to follow.