‘This is a new life’: Syrian refugees cheer on runners at Blue Nose Marathon
Published Monday, May 23, 2016 6:50PM ADT
The Blue Nose Marathon is a source of countless stories every year, and this long weekend has produced a new one for Syrian refugees participating in the event for the first time.
On Sunday, more than 50 Syrian refugees showed up at the YMCA Immigrant Cheering Station to take in the festivities.
“This is our sixth year volunteering here at the Blue Nose, and it’s a great community event,” said Fadi Hamdan, a youth outreach coordinator with the YMCA Immigrant Programs. “We bring our youth to give back to the community after coming here to Halifax.”
Although most of them don’t speak English quite yet, the international language of human gesture conveyed their vibrant energy and messages of support to the marathoners.
“It's beautiful and amazing," translated Hamdan on behalf of refugee Ahmed Mahmoud
Some of the refugees, like Jihad Mubarak, have only been in the city for a matter of months. Mubarak came to Halifax from Darah, Syria in February.
“He’s happy and excited,” said Hamdan, translating. ”This is a new life for him.”
A life filled with enthusiasm for those refugees cheering both for the runners, and for their new home.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.