'Golden opportunity': Excitement, hope as Syrian refugee starts over in Canada
Published Wednesday, September 16, 2015 8:42AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, September 16, 2015 3:30PM EDT
Nazar Poladian’s two-year journey from his home in war-torn Syria to his new home in Canada ended this week, and with that, his hope for a bright future began anew.
Poladian was among 30 Syrian refugees who landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Tuesday, after a long and emotional journey.
The refugees are from different cities and regions of Syria, which remains in the midst of a lengthy and bloody civil war.
In an interview with CTV’s Canada AM, Poladian on Wednesday expressed hope, excitement, and a “little bit of fear” for what lies ahead as he begins the monumental task of rebuilding his life in a new home.
“The first feeling was, a new beginning -- the new wide page that we’re going to start,” Poladian said a day after touching down on Canadian soil. “And the security and the stability and excitement, with a mix of little bit fear of new challenges, new encounters, a new society.”
Poladian fled Syria for Lebanon two years ago, as fighting between government and opposition forces began to intensify.
“We decided to leave when the problems started in Aleppo and even my flight was the last flight from Aleppo and (then) the airport was closed,” Poladian said.
The young man didn’t want to be “involved in the war,” and in Lebanon, he was able to resume the university studies that were cut short in Syria due to the fighting.
Poladian said he and his family, including his parents and siblings, began the application process to come to Canada last December.
“When we heard about the opportunity -- I love to call it the golden opportunity – we started to prepare our (immigration application) papers,” he said.
The entire process took a total of nine months.
While he’s happy to be in Canada, Poladian said many Syrians are still suffering overseas.
“People left their homes and now they’re in camps, behind fences,” Poladian said. “They can’t go back to Syria and they can’t escape to go as a refugee, to any country.”
The international community, including Canada, “should give their best to empower these people and make them part of their community,” he said.
Poladian also had a message for refugees still struggling to survive and escape the violence.
“Stay out of the illegal immigration,” he said. “We don’t want to see more death, more bodies in oceans and seas.”