The trials of being a refugee


Students in the Grade 4/5 class at St. Bernadette welcomed a newcomer to Sault Ste. Marie and Canada. Bassel Alkosani, a refugee from Syria sponsored by Algoma University, had the opportunity to tell the students his story through the Refugee705 initiative.

refugeeAlkosani spoke to the students about his native country and what it offered and looked like prior to the civil war that is now ravaging the mid-East nation. As part of his presentation the students were asked to construct a ‘home’ similar to what Alkosani and many other refugees find themselves in when they are placed in refugee camps. Alkosani himself was a resident of such a camp in Lebanon before being sponsored to come to Canada. The students were given a table, cardboard, a cloth and two chairs to construct their shelter.

He also spoke of the trials of being a refugee and being forced to leave his hometown and being away from his family who remain in Lebanon and Syria.

Prior to the visit students in the class had been learning about the plight of refugees from Syria and worldwide.




  1. Hopefully what’s happening in Belgium and other EU countries who have taken in mass amounts of middle eastern immigrants will educate people on reality. You realise that most countries who have taken in large amounts are now trying to ship them back? Look at statistic on violent crime in the countries in question note the dramatic rise particularly rape and when it occurred. I know it’s not PC but numbers don’t lie.

    These people have been fighting amongst themselves for generation and will still be fighting long after we are dead and gone. That is if you can call the deliberate slaughtering of each other’s unarmed civilian population fighting. They for the most part despise us and our way of life.

    I question why a healthy male of fighting age deserted his country, that he seems to hold so dear. I’m glad my great grandfather, grandfather and father didn’t desert this country in a time of need, we would all be saying heil Hitler or Kaiser now if they did.

    • Achmed, you are confusing economic migrants with refugees. The vast majority of those forcing their way into Europe do not claim rights as refugees until they arrive in the European country of their choice and a high proportion are young males. The country where they claim asylum evaluates their claim and if they fail to meet the criteria required, they get shipped back, as required by International Law. At least 50% in Europe are economic migrants, but it can take a long time to do the evaluation and go through the legal hoops to send them home.

      The situation in Canada is entirely different. They are evaluated in the Middle East and are only allowed to come here after all the health and security checks are completed. In addition, the majority are families, not many are young males of fighting age. We are in a far better security situation than Europe and will not have any significantly increased crime due to the recently arrived Syrian refugees.

      • You are confusing economic migrants with refugees. These migrants have already reached a safe haven when they come here so they are no longer refugees if they ever were to begin with.

        Its nice you have such confidence in your goverments ability to properly vet migrants or to actually do anything correctly, I don’t share your optimism.

        I encourage you to educate yourself on statistics of crime rates in EU countries that accepted large amounts of these so called refuges. Even Merkel who was the EU leader taking in the most of them has done an about face. She tried to manipulate the mainstream media and finally had to admit that a lot of the rape gangs and other violent crime was indeed true. If you feel so strongly about it go over there and do something, use your own money too.

        Most of these people were probably on the streets of Syria days before they got here shouting chants like “death to America”. Their is to much of a cultural divide between our two cultures. We will be paying for this in the future and I’m not just talking billions of dollars, mark my words.

  2. Hopefully presentations like this help educate adults, as well. Imagine spending weeks, or even months, living in a makeshift shelter like these.

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