Project Safe Haven told Syrian family finally to get flight from Jordan

October 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

After months of work and worry, the Syrian refugee sponsorship “Safe Haven” in Orangeville is finally hearing some good news out of Jordan.

An email from their Syrian family on Sunday reported that they had received a call from the Canadian Embassy in Jordan promising that their flight to Canada will be organized soon. Safe Haven member Lynda Cranston says the group has “no idea of timing at this point.”

Ms. Cranston said the group had expected their family to arrive earlier this year but “owing to the (Canadian) government pulling out the additional Embassy staff once their 25,000 quota was reached, our family, along with many other sponsored families, still languish in Jordan, fearing deportation back to Syria while their application proceeds at a snail’s pace.”

The father in the family Safe Haven is sponsoring, Awad Al Haj Ali, is a brother of Emad Al Haj Ali, the father in the first Syrian refugee family that arrived in Orangeville last December.

“The Syrian conflict has torn apart so many families,” said Ms. Cranston. “We are trying our best to reunite these two brothers and their families. We simply want – and demand – that the government honour the commitments it made in good faith to us and other private sponsor groups to process approved applications on an expedited basis.”

To that end, Safe Haven wrote to several Canadian government officials, including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing their frustration in the slowdown of application processing.

The letter asked the government to honour the commitments it made in good faith prior to February 29, to private sponsor groups to process approved applications on an expedited basis with the resources needed to do so.

Safe Haven’s collective commitment to the family has resulted in this week’s good news – music to their ears. As a universal gift, music is a reminder of the ties that bind us and draw us to our humanity – a meaningful way for the Orangeville group to support a family in need half a world a way.

On that “note”, Safe Haven will present “Listen to Learn,” a benefit concert by award-winning classical pianist Vlad Soloviev at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, 5 First Avenue in Orangeville.

The performance recital “explores the relevance of classical music today – what makes this music beautiful, what we can take away from it and why it’s still worth our while to listen.”

The concert will feature the music of Beethoven, Brahms and Busoni. Tickets are $15 and available at the door or through St. Mark’s office by calling 519-941-0640. Office hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to  12 noon or you can contact them by email at

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