A Teenager Starting Over in Canada

Ibraheem was just a regular kid — until he lost everything.

Comments: 114

  1. Ibraheem's words are an inspiration. He should continue to write: his poetry is beautiful.

  2. Agree. He is a gifted writer, under the most difficult of circumstances. I was very moved by this documentary. Thank you to Canada, and the Canadians who welcomed the refugees, and the filmmakers. I hope that Ibraheem and his family can eventually find some measure of peace and happiness, and a sense of home, in their adopted country.

  3. Beautifully done documentary which helped me grasp what the Syrian refugees, especially the children, have experienced. The family that my church is sponsoring are survivors of a horrific chemical weapon attack. While we can help heal the physical wounds, the mental health issues are enormous. We are doing our best here in Canada. I hope Sarhan realizes his dream to return one day to a peaceful Syria.

  4. Excellent. What an inspiration from this terribly damaged young man. I am glad he is in Canada. He may have a better chance. I wish him well. I wish many more folks would view this and see what damage war does to the young, and everyone for that matter. Such destructive idiocy. Be well Ibraheem. Thank you for showing us your life.

  5. He will be alright in Canada. Too bad the USA made the mess to begin with.

  6. Sweet young man, you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing the story of you and your dad making it in Canada. Your mom and siblings would be proud.
    American mummy

  7. Beautiful young man and I share his dream of him going back to his homeland. Until then, he is welcome stay in Canada as long as he wants. Good luck Ibraheem.

  8. Ibraheen, I admire your strength. Your Mom would be very proud of you. Please keep her - and your siblings - in your memory. You may not realize it, but you are very precious to your Dad. Take care.

  9. Ibraheem will make it. I wish him love, joy and peace after so much pain. I was also touched by his father. The two have lost so much. Powerful Op-Doc film. I am in Houston, where we have a refugee high school and so many young persons fleeing violence. It makes no sense. As humans we need to wrap our arms around these kids and give them our support. Thank you Canada for taking in these people

  10. He is very lucky. I'd be surprised if he actually really wanted to go back to Syria.

  11. Lucky? I don't think so.

  12. Really touching documentary. We don't realize how much others have to go through, how much they have suffered. This will push me to contribute more than just money, which is the easy way out to salve one's conscience. So proud to be a Canadian.

  13. Kudos to Canada for resettling Syrian refugees. Shame on the USA for turning them away.

  14. Samantha has a lot to answer for.

    Give the chance her good intentions proved no more useful than bad intentions.

    Go away.

  15. Exactly. She was part of an administration that allowed this to happen to this child and was its apologist at the UN. She gets no credit for caring now. What a hypocrite. Red line, anyone?

  16. Nothing is black and white. I have many reservations about Samantha Powers' policy advice. But I don't let that blind me to the beauty of this film and--especially--to Ibraheem's brave story.

  17. Thank you this spare, revealing portrait. It saddens me that our country is turning away Syrian refugees. We can learn a great deal from Canada's compassion.

  18. It tears my heart out. I am patriotic and want to do something. Anyone know an organization I can be involved in? @ Samantha Power.

  19. There have been a number of Syrian refugees who have not been turned away! Actually, they've been very welcomed in the Syrian Comumity in Brooklyn! Only caveat is that besides. being Syrian, they are Jewish too!Embraced by the long-standing Syrian Jewish community in southern Brooklyn!

  20. Sam - Many Canadians know there are millions of compassionate people in your country and that Americans have a brilliant record of giving and sharing and kindness. We wish you well in your present dilemma. When it is difficult and dark, that is the time your love shines with great beauty. Time to Imagine.......

  21. Extraordinary. Brings home in an incredibly intimate way the Syrian tragedy and the suffering of those involved. Gives me a whole new perspective on that war. Thank you.

  22. Ibraheem, I wish you and your father all the best. Thank you for sharing your story.

  23. How can I, as a Canadian person, help these people and others like them? I feel so helpless.

  24. There are many ways to help refugees in Canada!
    Take part in a private sponsorship of a refugee family through your church or community group, or a Group of Five individuals. See www.rstp.ca/en/ .
    Or volunteer through your local Open Door Society or library as an English tutor.

  25. Adopt one of them. Teach him what it is to be good Canadian. Remind him, unlike Syria and America, you can't have an assault rifle.

  26. Do you still think about the child your convoy run over and killed in Cameroon so that you can feel safe in your bulletproof car?

    The villagers never forgot and I agree with one of villagers who said "we don't have to hear what she has to say" A quote that perfectly applies here.

  27. We keep condemning the use of barrel bombs.
    Fine, but I suggest everyone Google "barrel bomb" and discover which countries were the first to use them.

  28. A very brave beautiful young teenager.His story is so sad.
    Wishing him all the best and bright future.Please continue to follow his story,so we all may know he has done well in Canada.

  29. If something had happened to his dad, what would have happened next? I can’t help but worry about the children trapped in these conflicts that of course are not of their making. How do we help them despite a political will that seems pointed to the contrary?

  30. I am getting to an age where I feel "that could be my son". It pains me to see a kid without his mom and siblings, putting back together fragments of life. May he find happiness and contentment in life.

    Thank you Canada, you are beautiful. We were a good country that took in the tired, and I hope someday again we will be as kind as you are today.

  31. I agree, thank you Canada. Why can't America open its arms, Trump? You come from an immigrant family! This is the country with the Statue of LIberty which millions have passed by.

    Trump is a bigot and myopic, and doesnt truly understand what it means to be an American,

  32. Before we laud Canada as part of the hope of this story it should be recognized that they are not exceptionable in this effort. A survey in January by McGill revealed that strong support for open refugee immigration policies runs at only about 10%, which is similar to the US and the average in Europe. It runs higher in BC, where fewer refugees are being settled. So there is potential for anti-refugee immigration sentiment, just as there is in the US. Any story like this deserves its due among all those who contribute, but Canada is by no means a panacea for anything, let alone immigration. Let's not forget their regrettable rightward lurch during the Obama years and the potential for that to return.

  33. @ Balu Bay area CA and replier Chris Boston

    Balu offers praise for Canada and replier Chris from Boston tells Balu that the data show that Canada is no better than the USA or any other country. But the data Chris refers to concern support for open refugee immigration policy, citing a McGill survey with no further information, not the number of refugees per 100,000 population.

    Chris here are real data concerned with reality, January-April 2018, data from Homeland Security and Swedish Migration Department for refugees/asylum seekers from Syria:

    USA population 326,000,000 – 12 individuals from Syria
    Sweden population 10,000,000 – 842 individuals from Syria

    Chris, do you still want to maintain that the USA does as well as any other country?

    There are also many other dimensions that determine how welcoming a country is, and the OpDoc touches on some.
    Medical care
    Financial and housing support
    Language training
    Support from an individual or family
    I will treat these by submitting a separate comment.
    Dual citizen US SE

  34. Samantha "Regime Change" Power is responsible for this boy's disability and enduring memories of horror. With President Obama, Power exacerbated and prolonged the war by supporting the arming and funding of radical Islamist groups under a $500M CIA program, and spreading lies about purported chemical attacks in Syria. Countless innocents died, yet Power chose only to condemn the Syrian government when it dared to retake its own territory instead of collapsing under pressure from US-financed jihadists. It sickens me to now see Power posturing as though she cares about Syrian lives.

  35. "Life shows us many stories...We went out against our will and will return with out hope." Thank you to Ibraheem and all those who have touched his life. Thank you to Samantha Power who still deeply cares. This caring and hope will triumph above the straits we find ourselves in.

  36. This is a poignant example of what it really means to be a "survivor." It's encouraging to see these sort of pieces are still being told. It's all too easy in a world of identity politics to lose perspective and forget the true suffering and loss that many carry with them, along with an amazing amount of hope.

  37. OF course it is by Samantha Power, from the Obama administration. A wonderful human being.

    Thank you for sharing this NY Times editors.

  38. Beautiful, poignant documentary.

  39. What a poignant story. I wish them the best. Ibraheem is a beautiful writer.

  40. Thank you for this beautiful and very moving portrait of Ibraheem Sarhan. It is so important to tell the stories of the people who suffer from war and displacement because numbers are numbing. By watching and listening to Ibraheem's story, we can better understand the plight of the Syrian people today.

  41. Ibraheem was “lucky”. He got away from the violence, but lost most of his family. Every innocent question by others elicits a twinge of pain and a reminder of loss. The very ordinariness of his life now brings home the horror of the conflict and hides it at the same time.

    Political and sectarian ideologies produce stories like this one. When we take our politics and religion too stridently, these are the people who suffer most.

  42. Heartbreaking. And hopeful.
    Thanks to Canada for taking in these refugees and caring for them.
    May they be able to return to Syria in the future to rebuild their lives in their homeland.

  43. I feel different after watching this. The loss this young man has endured, the change. It's so much but the filmmakers captured something of his essence. It was a glimpse but it was really beautiful. Great storytelling.

  44. "They don't know how my heart burns when I tell the story." What a powerful statement. I am so moved by his sharing his story.

  45. Thankyou for sharing this story. It says so much both about the state of our collective humanity—-good and bad—-and the resilience and love shown by individuals.

  46. Another heartbreaking story of innocent civilians being the pawn of those who care so little about humanity, they start and sustain wars--traumatic, painful war. We are a very poorly behaved species....Chilling!

  47. What an eloquent writer Ibrahim is... Watching this, my heart ached for his Dad, many of his classmates clearly still adjusting around him, his country... But with a mind like his, I hope we will hear much more from this gem of a young man... I am blown away at the feelings imagery he has conjured up with his words. Amazing writing, Ibrahim... you have a strong voice that needs to be heard!

  48. Tough kid. Too bad S. Power and the O admin failed him. That’s another story.

  49. It is so heartwarming to read this. Why are there any borders in the world? Why are our leaders and opinion makers willing to allow over half of the national budget to be devoted to war? What about all the Ibraheems in Palestine or Yemen or Pakistan or Libya or Bangladesh.....why are we not bringing them to the US?

  50. Sorry, but having Samantha Power discuss the plight of a Syrian teenager when it was during her tenure a feckless Obama failed 500,000 Syrians with his phony red lines is a bit more than I can stomach.

    Her cognitive dissonance is deafening.

  51. Heartbreaking.

  52. I am glad you and your Dad got to Canada Ibrahaeem! You will build a new life here. We have taken in over 64,000 Syrians with the help of individual sponsors like me. Its a win win situation!

  53. It's infuriating that Samantha Power dares to preach to us here, calling Ibraheem a bright spot in the dark time she blundered our way into/out of/on top of... out of control, and that NYT even allows her this forum. Yes, with Susan Rice, Barak Obama, et al, she was fully complicit in the spread of ISIS throughout Syria during this period. I wish I hadn't had to be reminded of her tenure in government here, and that NYT would just allow her to fade into obscurity.

  54. You mistake trying to do an appointed job whose efforts are to mitigate and monitor what other, often elected leaders decide in their endeavor to hopefully, create some order in the midst of chaos, with participation in resulting atrocities.

  55. Why I subscribe to the New York Times is to get quality and humanity. Breathlessly important. Thank you.

  56. How much better the world would be if people deserted all organized religion en masse and simply identified as mutually accepting humans. So much irrational hatred would be flushed down where it belongs. A great addition would be for the US to give up its dream of remaking the world in its own image via this ridiculous Pax Americana fantasy.

  57. How much better?
    Not much at all.

  58. Every country leader should watch this video to acknowledge the wreckage war leaves in its wake.

  59. he's 12
    he'll be just fine

  60. He was 12 when his leg was shattered and his family was killed. He is now in high school, presumably 16 or 17 years old, 4 years after that tragedy. Dad said that he shut down for a few years after that. He was not fine at all... He now has to deal with classes for immigrant and credit recovery before he can head out to college. He still has to deal with therapy to get as much of his strength and flexibility back in his leg... He is still a foreigner in a new country, without much of a village around him. His Dad is valiantly keeping it together for him, but is really alone. Every one of these challenges would have been huge on their own for a lesser kid. Age is not a magical wand, but his sheer talent and will are. And he seems to be just a genuinely nice kid, who is able to make friends and build that village around him. Go Ibrahim!

  61. I had horrible things happen to me at a young age too, although not involving bombs and brutal death. I survived, but bear scars and difficult emotional challenges that I will spend the rest of my life trying to overcome. Your comment struck me as somewhat flippant and callous.

  62. May Manitoba be forever blessed for its willingness to take in so many who have lost so much.

  63. Ibraheem is a beautiful young man. Oh, the children, the beautiful children. We must stop the killing and maiming of the children. Thank you for documenting and sharing. This leaves me heartbroken.

  64. Terrific short documentary. So much power and poetry in Ibraheem's words .

  65. I should never complain about anything ever again.

  66. Ms. Power and Obama are key players in the start of this carnage. It was they and some EU countries that encouraged the revolutionary anti-Assad forces. They promised aid and they talked up regime change and that Assad must step down.

  67. May Canada always be known as a place where people come to heal and start again. All the best to you Ibraheem!

  68. We used to be that place.

  69. Great. Written by an official who unmasked Americans and was part of an administration that helped create the situation in Syria.

  70. That dastardly Assad and those dastardly Russians!

    If only the Washington and the Gulf Arabs had succeeded in Syria this poor kid, and many others would have been living perfectly normal lives in the Sunni Muslim Caliphate that IS tried to build.

  71. I wonder how the 11 Syrian refugees taken in by the United States are doing?

  72. People of color are going through great suffer around the world. Ibraheem’s endurance makes me feel good about his future. He’s been through more than I’ll ever bare at such a young age.

    Syrians, other ethnic groups just want to live a life of peace. This just saddens me, because the United States and the current administration “running” (ruining) this country could give a damn about the many people who are in war-torn countries who legitimately need aid and assistance.

    May this young man find all of good fortune and prosperity in his journey.

  73. Ibraheem's story is heartbreaking, but his new beginning will help sooth his wounds. He seems determined to participate in learning, and in that there hope.
    How can Assad sleep at night?

  74. How can our citizens and politicians sleep at night, after they constantly beat the drums of war as a solution to disputes?

  75. There are massacres taking place where our United States representatives appear in collusion or worse. I fear for Africa. My own state of horror at watching this has no bounds.

  76. Stay strong young man.
    You have been through hell and persevered.
    Life can get better for you.
    Pain, loss, trauma as burdensome as they are do not have to define you.

  77. Am I the only one that winced at the two times in the short film the teachers asked these kids about their families? How many times do they have to relive and explain?
    I hope that there is therapy available to these young people to help them to heal.

  78. The traumatizing event happened years ago. Time has given this child a moment to heal. I do understand that some heal longer than others; however, it is a fact that one has to talk about the traumatizing event to help one cope. Internalizing the feelings isn't good. The teachers also gave the children other options if they are still unwilling to talk about their families. This seems healthy to me.

  79. Wish you (and the Obama administration) could have done much more to end the suffering of the Syrian people. But thank you for commenting on this courageous young man’s new life in Canada. My heart goes out to Ibraheem and his father. Their loss is unimaginable. Is there anything concrete we can do to help them?

  80. Yes. You can donate to organizations that are helping with the settlement of refugees in Canada. You can find many on-line.

  81. Thanks for sharing the ravages of war...while we have as president a brutus ignoramus who is clueless, and uninterested, even indifferent, to the suffering of those caught in the middle, trying to start another war once a suitable excuse comes along. Peace in society, without justice, is a mirage; are we contributing to it, or looking the other way? That's the question. Hats off to Canada, showing solidarity to those victims persecuted at home, allowing for a second chance. Compare that to Trump's cruelty 'gratis' in denying shelter to refugees, despicable but not unexpected from an unscrupulous thug whose only interest is his own aggrandizement and enrichment, faithful as a prisoner of his own racism and xenophobia, seemingly unredeemable. A wretch!

  82. Docs like this one are so important for showing the human toll that war takes. Every war. I don’t know how Assad can cling to power in the face of the suffering of his people. Some commenters blame Obama; others blame the Russians. If Assad made it known that he was ready for unconditional peace talks, the conflict in Syria would end in short order. Yes, the peace process would be fraught. So what? Assad must recognize that this conflict has turned from a civil war into a proxy war. The only ones benefitting are the armaments industry. Civilians and young men - Syrian, Iranian, Russian, and American - are dying for NOTHING. For every Ibrahim, who has a chance of thriving, there are dozens more mired in misery, suffering and resentment that will come to haunt the Middle East’s future, and with it, our own.

  83. "I don’t know how Assad can cling to power in the face of the suffering of his people."
    Give it a rest. If Assad had been toppled we would see the same amount of suffering with a fragmented Syria. Then the folks on this board would question the wisdom of toppling Assad along with the same wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  84. The US should take in as many refugees as we have killed, in this conflict. Most of the dead were innocent civilians, yes, killed by American, and allied, bombs. Often, I think I'd like to start over in Canada, myself, because of my great shame for this once great country. Best wishes to those Syrians who have survived this catastrophe. I grieve, everyday, for what has been lost.

  85. @ Ches Bay MD - Better of course if we had never created the conditions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria that led to 100,000 deaths or more.

    But our role in the killing goes on, now in Yemen where with our support and even actions the worst human tragedy world-wide has been created.

    Perhaps the worst is yet to come - USA-Saudi Arabia-and Israel aligned against Iran.
    Dual citizen US SE

  86. A good introduction to a father and son and the community in Canada where they try to build a new life after going through trauma and loss that surely left its stamp on them, also for life.

    Here I answer a question posed by one reader that I wish more were asking.

    Jen CDN asks: "How can I, as a Canadian person, help these people and others like them? I feel so helpless."Here is one thing we do at the Red Cross, Linköping in Sweden. (In VT in the US I would go to the Resettlement Agency or to the Library where English as A Second Language is taught). You can find counterparts.

    Typical afternoon at Träna svenska.
    Zari (Iranian-Swedish) and I (American-Swedish) are responsible for Träna Svenska (practice Swedish) and we talk with three men from Syria men, Abdulmaten, Bachar, and Mohamad been here long enough to converse.
    They take/are taking Svenska för Invandrare provided by the Swedish government.
    We all talk for 2 h. On the 8th we had coached Abdulmaten for his 1st job interview. Yesterday Bachar, from al Hasakha, discusses what he lost in his home city – everything. Week after week he will get to know us and we him.
    Then, a dramatic moment: A women appears at the door and Bachar greets her with a giant smile and welcome. He says, “She is my teacher, my mother, my friend, my problem solver.”
    Jen, Zari and I have been doing this for years, loving every minute, and, seeing our visitors become part of Swedish society.
    Dual citizen US SE

  87. Canada, not America.
    There's an element of being forced to be ashamed to be an American in this story.
    That we are exposed as having no humility, no compassion, that we've lost what we used to be so proud of, drains me emotionally.

  88. The present situation is not the true America.

  89. I'm happy he was able to start over in another Country. The U.S. has over 12 million illegal immigrants and over 6 million homeless Americans. That's 18 million people. Until we reform our immigration system and address the homeless crisis; it's time for the rest of the world to contribute. Thank you Canada!

  90. Many international organizations have estimated that one in ten humans are now refugees. Of wars, climate destruction, economic collapse, drug violence, etc. All needs to be factored into the simple, least common denominator of --- there were 2 billion humans on this planet when I was born. Now there are 7.5 billion, barreling toward 8, and it's projected that number will double in less than 30 years.

    Planet is still the same size.

  91. Canada has always pulled its weight, as have many other countries around the world.

    Don't presume to think that the US always carries the freight and that others are laggards.

    Much of the reason there is such a tremendous burden of disenfranchised people around the world is because of the wars and instability YOUR country brings about.

    I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but your post comes across as arrogant.

    As to your current immigration situation, the rest of us have the same problems and aren't yet solving our homelessness situations either.

    Don't use that as an excuse to do nothing, because you know homelessness, etc. will never be completely resolved.

    It's like saying you won't fix your gun problems until underlying mental health issues are resolved.

    There will always be mental health problems, so that has to be a given when considering whether or not you need gun control.

  92. I do hope that Ibrahim's father is also getting help for his losses and for the isolation and loneliness that seems to permeate his appearance here.

  93. Thank you to the Times for posting this. We absolutely MUST know more about the human results of our wars. I am sick of hearing about the strategies, political machinations, the military heroes, the fabulous array of weaponry deployed -- all of it. I want to know about and see the REAL effects of all this video-game-in-real-time action.

    Please, publish more. This will do more to change those tides of sentiment than anything else. My fervent wish is that these dispatches will infiltrate the barriers of Fox, Rush, et al, into the quarters of those who still beat the drums of war as a solution to anything.

  94. Knowing suffering exist and knowing people suffer is very different from learning about a fellow human's particular experience of suffering. Thank you for letting us in and letting us realize how we can't begin to imagine what being in the wrong place, at the wrong time can mean. Thank you for letting Ibrahim's voice and wisdom be heard.

  95. I'm writing this with tears obscuring my vision - the suffering of this young man, his father, and all the other refugees who have survived the war and were lucky enough to have escaped Syria is so great, and our response as a nation so small that I am filled with shame. And while there is hope for all of those who have escaped the seemingly endless war, their desire to return to their homeland and finding peace there dwindles with each passing year. I wish Ibraheem and his father the best, and I pray that they will overcome their hardships and find a place of peace and success in their new home. Nothing can replace the family they lost, but perhaps there will be some measure of happiness in a place that welcomes them.

  96. Watching this make me realize that Canada Is replacing the United States in the world. Ibraheem’s tenderness and hope are growing in a country that has compassion and hope for humanity. Ibraheem and his father bring forward a kind of truth and strength that underpins great goodness. This film reflects the foolish and tragic true of war.

  97. I hope that people remember this video in the future when they are living their ordinary lives. One day, you will meet someone like Ibraheem or his father, perhaps when Ibrheem is a man. Will you say hello to them, or look away because they are not like you? Will you give them a job even though they are not like you? Will you rent them an apartment?
    I'm Canadian. We're not all fluttering angels here, either. It is one thing to look at the immediate aftermath of war and feel compassion, but the test comes later when people from another culture want to integrate fully into a new society and find hesitation or worse in the host country's people or feel they have to cluster together, not for comfort, but for fear they will not be fully accepted.

  98. What an amazing young man. His story is both heartbreaking and inspirational. The author of this piece, Samantha Power, wrote an amazing book called "America in the Age of Genocide" which explored the Governments inaction in the face of a century of genocides. How ironic that as President Obama's Ambassador to to UN, she was complicit in that administrations decision to stand by and let the genocide in Syria go unchallenged.

  99. I wish Ibraheem and his father all the very best. Maybe everything always be good for them from now on, inshallah.

  100. Yes, please post more articles like this. Post them with big pictures and in the front page. Give visibility to these personal stories of senseless pain and unbelievable sorrow. Let people everywhere know the true cost of war, and let the citizens of democratic countries know the full implications of their political choices.

  101. First, I want to say that I'm really glad that Canada is bringing in displaced people from Syria.

    Second, I want to say that I wish we were doing more.

    We are bringing in more people from the US border now, as the Trump administration ends protections for immigrants from other countries. We were bringing in more people from Syria, Iran, and Yemen, but that is stopping now that we're trying to prepare for the potential of hundreds of thousands of displaced people moving north on a land border. There's a conflict right now in the government, between whether we should keep bringing in people from across the world and risk being overwhelmed, or whether we should base our immigration policy, in part, on what the Trump administration is doing domestically.

    Personally, I say let them come. But there are people, even in Canada, who don't think that we should share our vast tracts of land, enormous amounts of natural resources, and substantial quality of life with that many people. Or with anyone, really.

    Stories like Ibraheem's need to be heard. It's easy to hate people a world away. Its difficult, if not impossible, to let families who look like your next door neighbour, your child's classmate, or your best friends die on your doorstep because you didn't want to share.

  102. I lived in Syria for a year as a young man. Ibrahim's father would have been a teenager then. I work mainly in the Arab world to this day; just back from Amman, swarming with refugees of all kinds. Ibrahim speaks a beautiful, clear Arabic, as is true of so many in Syria, center of Arabism. I wept right through this. If only those who so eagerly champion war could see its results.
    It is so very hard not to be ashamed as an American. Our government, in its greed and racism, leads the destruction of the Arab world. The Europeans and Canadians pick up the pieces. If we cannot change our racist, militaristic leaders (Lee Zeldin here on Long Island) we have only ourselves to blame.
    Bless you Ibrahim. May you have a long and beautiful life.

  103. I agree with you that war is horrible, although sometimes necessary, but you place culpability at the feet of the wrong people. Increasingly, our foreign policy has been isolationist. We certainly had little, if anything, to do the the Syrian uprising, and are less culpable with its continuation than Russia, Iran, ISIS, etc. Neither is the west more racist. Racial and religious infighting is far more vicious in the Arab world than anywhere else.

  104. @ Ken of Sag Harbor - Nice comment and I am curious about your own Arabic since you are telling us that Ibrahim speaks a beautful clear Arabic. If you only live there for a year, where and how along the way did you learn Arabic well enough to write what you do about Ibrahim's Arabic.

    Interestingly, last year a new asylum seeker turned up from Syria - there are many at the Red Cross here every week - and he spent most of his first visit telling me that none of the Arabic speakers there - from everywhere were speaking Arabic. Only he was.

    He would not even consider the suggestion that we see many versions of, for example Swedish, as being dialects, but when one Nordic language, Swedish, is as different from another, such as Danish, then they are seen as different languages.

    In 18 years at the Red Cross I had never encountered anyone who wa so committed to a belief that only Classical Arabic could be called Arabic.

    By the way, I would have liked to have heard much more of Ibrahim speaking Canadian English since I spent 40 years in Rochester, NY just across from Toronto.
    Dual citizen US SE

  105. Kudos to these three, talented women filmmakers for traveling to Syria to bring us this story of the courageous journey of Ibraheem and his father from war-torn Syria to the welcoming arms awaiting them in Canada. A story of strength, inspiration, hope and courage, this doc-op should be viewed by all on both sides of the immigration debate.

  106. Congratulations to these remarkable filmmakers, lovely and talented Luisa Conlon!! Great job

  107. In the past, it was a story like this that would send a message to the world, that our country is great but the current narcissistic administration has closed its eyes on humanitarian ventures. Thank you Canada and the Op-Doc writer and producers.

  108. Watching this I marveled that Ibraheem was apparently receiving appropriate health care, and then the explanation came. He's not in the US, but in Canada.

  109. This reads just like a story after a school shooting. Wishing and hoping for this kid, is like prayers for his friends and family. As long as there are guns, there will be mass shootings. As long as there are people that will use violence to get what they want, innocent people will suffer.
    The unarmed will not disarm the armed. Prayers will not stop the tyrants.

  110. With all of the BILLIONS if not TRILLIONS of dollars circulating in the Gulf States- Why can't Muslims support their own refugee crisis?

  111. the turks, the gulf arabs, our nato allies, and our spooks all have a hand in it. seriously, you expect the gulf arabs to support the refugees?

  112. This is what it would sound like, if our President would, first, try selling the right things to interested parties around the world.

    "When they order [diplomatic actions] from us, we will get it taken care of and they will get their [diplomatic actions] rapidly. It would be, in some cases, years before [diplomatic actions] would take place, because of bureaucracy with Department of Defense, State Department. We are short-circuiting that. It is now going to be a matter of days. If they're our allies, we are going to help them get this very important, great [diplomatic actions]. And nobody, nobody, makes [diplomatic actions] like the United States. It's the best in the world, by far."