Syrian refugees speak at peace talks

The Solstice Peace Talks at the Shatford Centre Dec. 21 featured special guests in a Syrian Refugee family living in Naramata.

Paul Crawford

Kinda Al Hariri was eight months pregnant when she fled her home in Syria, running for two hours from Darayya to reach the border, escaping a lack of food, water and the bombs dropping on the country.

She and her husband Mohamed  relocated to Canada in February and to Naramata in April with two sons.

Read more: Preliminary plans set for Naramata to welcome refugees

The family had a short-but-powerful message of peace during the Solstice Peace Talks at the Shatford Centre Dec. 21.

“Peace is no longer just a peaceful feeling between humans, but is the feeling of safety to live at home,” Kinda said.

“Our hearts are sad when remembering what is happening in Aleppo, which kills children that do not carry arms against Bashar al-Assad, Russia and elsewhere. There, women prefferred to die before they are raped in front of their children.

“I can not find sentences describing what is happening to the Syrian people, particularly Aleppo.”

Kinda hopes to one day become a teacher and has been helping her sons in the Naramata preschool class. Mohamed has been working with various friends and neighbours helping out around the community.

“This couple has shown amazing bravery and resilience in their transition into a foreign culture,” said Laura Gray, who helped start the initiative to bring refugees to Naramata late last year.

In a short interview after her speech, Kinda said life in Naramata has been good, however Mohamed’s mother, three brothers and one sister remain in Syria. They communicate with an online phone app and the last time they talked was two months ago, she said.

They said it is tough to continue to see the devestation ravaging their home.

“115 (people) in one day, died. In one day, children, women, in Aleppo and all of Syria,” Kinda said.

The peace talks also featured Penticton Art Gallery curator Paul Crawford who brought an exhibition of art from Syria to the local gallery.

Read more: Syrian art coming to Penticton


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vehicle crashes through carport in West Kelowna

The driver has been taken to hospital with minor injuries

PHOTOS: Okanagan residents capture epic lightning show

A look at some of the best shots of the storm on May 30

Big White Ski Resort to offer rebate for pass holders after early closure

Next year’s pass will include a 20 per cent rebate

Rain in Sunday forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Environment Canada calling for 15-20 millimetres in regions

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

High water floods North Okanagan park

Water rushing through Hanson Park in Cherryville

Love flourishes at Peace Arch Park, but COVID-19 concerns loom

South Surrey park becomes only place for international couples to meet

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Morning Start: How long did the Rodney King riots of 1992 last?

Your morning start for Monday, June 1, 2020

Most Read