Hussam and Lina Alhamad moved to Salmon Arm after fleeing the war in Syria. The couple have now both earned their driver’s licences. (File photo)

Welcome Shuswap: Syrian refugee makes new home in Salmon Arm

Immigrant Services Shuswap, located at 371 Hudson St., N.E., would like to introduce more of our recent immigrants to the people of Salmon Arm. Our non-profit, non-governmental society has a mission to support and include all immigrants in the Shuswap . We hope that you will join us in welcoming these new members of our community.

My name is Lina Alhamad. I am from Syria.

I have been living in Salmon Arm since February 13, 2016. I have four children, Barakat, Moammar, Rimas, and Lynda.

My husband’s name is Hussam.

I keep very busy with my family, my studies, and my cooking classes. I like to continue my education and I hope that next year I can be an assistant teacher. I would also like to write a Syrian cookbook.

I want my husband and my children to be happy and to continue their education and have a good life in Canada.

I like Salmon Arm because the people are kind and like to help the refugee families. The people respect us and our religion and we can live freely. Every week I go to four English classes. When I came here I didn’t speak any English. After a lot of work and studying, I now speak, understand, and write in English.

Before the Syrian War my life was very nice and very safe. But after the war started it was very hard. We didn’t have any food for days. Sometimes we only had bread. I lost one of my sons, as he was very sick after he was born. There was fighting and it was unsafe to take him to the hospital.

After our daughter Rimas was born, we left Syria and went to Lebanon. We stayed there for one and a half years.

Women are able to drive in Syria. I am very happy to say that I have just passed my Canadian driver’s license. I have been teaching Syrian cooking for four months. I have cooked auction dinners for the Salmon Arm Rotary Club and will cook for the Hospital Foundation.

I really enjoy teaching cooking Syrian food and we have lots of fun in the classes. I am so happy to be here in Salmon Arm. My husband and children are doing very well. My husband is working as a custodian at the School District and has also passed his driving license.

I have my Food Safety Certificate, my driving license, my English, and cooking classes.

Our life is good here in Salmon Arm. My dreams are coming true.

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