Project Description

Meet the Othman Agha / Al Khateeb family

Fatima Othman Agha, 60, currently lives in Idlib, Jordan. She and her family lived in a suburb of Damascus which became a rebel area under siege by government forces.

She, along with her daughter Fatina, 31, son Fadi, 29, and granddaughter Nagham, 14, fled their home in early 2013.

They first fled to Jdaidet, in the Damascus countryside, which was soon also surrounded and laid under siege by government forces.

They fled again, this time to Bistandour, narrowly escaping heavy bombing and a civilian massacre. They kept their suitcases packed at all times, in case they needed to flee in order to stay ahead of the fighting and sieges.

On their journey to Jordan, they passed through many rebel and government checkpoints. They witnessed fighting along the way, and men were being taken, either to be questioned or to be conscripted into the army. It was a frightening journey for Fadi, then 25, in particular, who feared being taken. They had to cross illegally into Jordan because of government shooting at the official border crossing.

They have no official status in Jordan, so none of the adults are able to work legally. This means that they are at the mercy of landlords and employers, who regularly take advantage of refugees. They work odd jobs to pay for food and rent, but they live in constant fear of being deported back to Syria. Nagham is currently attending school, but she will no longer be allowed to attend school once she finishes this school year.

They would like to be reunited with their son/brother Mbder Al Abdullah, who was sponsored by OCRA and came to Ottawa in February 2016.  If they are able to come to Canada, Fatina, Fadi and Sawsan want to complete English training and find work to support their families. Fatima would seek domestic work and help provide childcare for her grandchildren, so that the mothers would be able to find work. Nagham would be able to resume her schooling.

Like many Syrian families, this family group has never lived apart from one another until the war separated them. Family is extremely important to them, and this separation causes them severe emotional anguish. By reuniting them, we would allow them to move forward with their lives, knowing that their family is safe.

The Government of Canada requires that we have $30,900 to sponsor the Othman Agha / Al Khateeb family. After in-kind and monetary donations, we have raised sufficient funds to sponsor this family.