Nov 18

Syrian refugees and local supporters in Halifax cooking up a way to give back

A group of Syrian refugees and local supporters has started cooking meals on weekends and delivering them to Halifax shelters as a way of giving back to the community.

Of the Syrian Thanksgiving Group of Nova Scotia’s ten members, eight are Syrian refugees.

Group member Mohammad Al Jokhadar said the idea was thought up by a friend after a Syrian refugee family in Halifax was harassed in a “racist attack” that included racial insults and spitting.

“We’re just maintaining the equilibrium in society, right? So if somebody throws a little bit of negativity, you give them a little bit of positivity to counteract the effect,” he said.

Mohammad Al Jokhadar holds two nearly completed trays of fatteh he helped make with the Syrian Thanksgiving Group of Nova Scotia on April 2, 2017.

Steve Silva/Global News

On Sunday, the third week since the project started, several families came together to cook Syrian foods, which they then delivered to Adsum for Women & Children, Herring Cove Apartments, Metro Turning Point, Phoenix House and Phoenix Youth Shelter.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees upcycle food for new Halifax desserts business

“A lot of my Syrian refugee friends, they come from terrible conditions in refugee camps, and… they know the meaning of poverty and suffering,” Al Jokhadar said.

New Canadians extend their appreciation to Halifax by celebrating Syrian culture

Kathy McNab, a spokesperson for Adsum, said the group’s efforts are appreciated and important to the shelter.

She notes the group fits well into Halifax’s longtime culture of community service, bringing the newcomers full-circle as they begin to give back to their neighbours.