Hello or Marhaban, as we say in Arabic! My name is Amira* and I’m 12 years old. […] My parents made the difficult decision to leave Syria and, all that we had and knew, behind. We made it to Lebanon and managed to find a small basement apartment, it was very crowded, and very, very cold in the wintertime. My dad tried to find work when he could, but it was not easy. Never in our lives did we think we would become refugees.

We arrived in our new Canadian home on New Year’s Day. At the airport, we were all surprised to see a large group of people from Timberlea Baptist Church waiting to welcome us. These people were all strangers to us, they didn’t know us at all, but they have been very kind and generous! We were so unhappy for so long and often times we felt like second class citizens, but here, we feel like human-beings again and are treated well. It is nice to be able to go to bed at night and not be terrified of what might happen. I like everything about Canada, especially the trees and the chance for my family to be healthy, safe and happy again.