Refugee family to arrive on HalloweenFriday, October 21, 2011 - 1:36 PM
By Jennifer Faerber
A Palestinian family of five have been granted refugee status in Canada and they're being placed in the Comox Valley.
Ali and Laila Abo-Nofal fled Iraq when their lives were threatened and family members were killed. They and their children, six year old Reem, 10 year old Mariam and 16 year old Rana have been living in a United Nations refugee camp for the past four years.
"They've been sitting in a tent up in the north-east corner of Syria, but now Syria's undergoing some political turmoil of it's own so the camp is probably going to be closed," says Dave Talbot from the Comox Valley Refugee Support Committee.
The Candian Government has given permisison for a number of these families to come to Canada: Two to Nanaimo, five to Vancouver, three to Victoria and one to the Comox Valley.
The Abo-Nofal's were expeted to arrive in mid-November, but now they'll be touching down in Comox on October 31, 2011.
"Our committment to them is for a year and theyr'e going to be learning English and the girls are going to go to school," says Talbot. "We have a lovely little house for them close to Courtenay Elementary and we almost have it furnished."
In total, the CVRSC is trying to raise $30,000.
"We've almost got 13,000 in the bank right now so we're doing pretty well but we really need the support of the valley," Talbot says.
A major fundraiser is going ahead on Saturday, 29 October at the Lower Elks Hall, called Decadent Desserts and Dancing.
"There will be a silent auction, there'll be a bar and a lot of fun," says Talbot. "Lots of decadent desserts from lots of the restaurants and bakeries in town, so please come along. We are making a difference."
Local band Flying Debris will be playing. Tickets are $25 available from Blue Heron Books (1775 Comox Ave) or in Courtenay at Laughing Oyster Book Shop (286 5th St).