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Syrian refugees wait to board a plane to Canada, in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/exclusive-poll-finds-huge-support-for-syrian-refugees-1.2712799

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/12/27/canadas-warm-welcome-for-refugees-scores-highly-but-real-test-is-coming.html

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Syrian father carrying his dead child (source lost)

I can’t believe that Canada is selling armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia and I hope sincerely that the money Canada collects will be used to help refugees and that Canada will henceforth be an active participant in limiting the sale of weapons to belligerents.

Canadians are ordinary people, but former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson set an example: diplomacy, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau followed in his footsteps. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, embedded in the Canada Act of 1982, protects everyone. We are all on the same footing.

But I am nevertheless touched by the many acts of kindness on the part of the majority of Canadians. At the moment, Canada’s little problems have been put aside. We are not in the best possible financial position, but  people are no longer speaking about balancing the budget. People are speaking about the vast number of human beings who will not survive unless we open our doors and allow them to start a new life. Life is a right.

Syrian_civil_war

Current military situation: Red: Syrian Government, Yellow: Kurds (Rojava), Grey: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, White: al-Nusra Front (terrorists), Green: Opposition 

(for a more detailed map, see Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War). Map above was last updated on 2015-12-23)

Most of the refugees arriving in Canada lived comfortably before the Arab Spring (2011). They lived in fine houses and apartments. It may take time before they are living as carefree a life in Canada, but from the moment they board the plane taking them to their new home, their life is no longer threatened by various extremists and terrorists.

There are Sunni Muslims, the majority, and Shia Muslims, a minority. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite Muslim. Alawites are Shia Muslims, a minority. Kurds are Sunni Muslims. Syria is or was also home to Christians. It appears that Bashar al-Assad ordered the use of sarin gas on his own people on 21 August 2013.

I spent several hours reading today and learned that sarin gas was being used again in Syria. I also learned that communities who lived peacefully despite the presence of both Shia or Sunni Muslims no longer do so.

The photograph below shows displaced Iraqi Sunni Muslims. Their lives were shattered during the wars waged in the 2000s and they are now fleeing fighting between pro-government forces and Isis/Isil.

19-Displaced-Sunni-Iraqis-AFP-Getty

Sunni Iraqis fleeing violence in Ramadi arriving in Baghdad; more than 90,0000 people have fled fighting between pro-government forces and Isis in the Ramadi area AFP/Getty

After the 13 November attacks on Paris, German chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Germany would accept fewer migrants than it had planned.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/merkel-refugees-germany-1.3363453

Conclusion

Given the arms deal it signed with Saudi Arabia, I am not congratulating Canada. However, there is considerable support on the part of Canadians to welcome refugees. Six planes transporting Syrians are due to arrive this week. Canadian civil servants have been deployed to Jordan. That is where applications from Syrian refugees are being ‘processed’ (I hate that word), which explains why they can be given a Social Insurance Number and a Health Insurance Card. As I wrote in an earlier post 15,000 civil servants are ‘processing’ (I really do hate that word) applications.

Speed is important. The refugees are exhausted and some require immediate medical care. As for security, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police know their job and legitimate refugees can tell who isn’t a legitimate refugee.

 Canadians have found a cause. They are looking after the welfare and integration of their new citizens.

I apologize for writing for a few days. I wasn’t well.

With fond regards to everyone.

The following videos were made before the 13 November attacks on Paris.

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©  Micheline Walker
28 December 2015
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