through the eyes of a refugee © UNHCR/ Andrew McConnell

His passion reignited, Hany heard that some of his friends who had also fled Syria were now beginning their university studies in places like Germany and Sweden. Hany applied for asylum. A year

later, Canada

called, offering the Al Moliya family resettlement in Regina through the government-sponsored program.


“We didn’t choose any country,” Hany says. “It was only Canada receiving new files at

the time. But I was so

happy for that. I wouldn’t choose any country over Canada. It was very good for us, especially because I spoke English.” Hany also thinks that his eye condition played a part in his family’s Canadian acceptance, based on the fact

that Canada prioritizes refugees with certain medical needs. © UNHCR/ Andrew McConnell

Hany immediately started learning

about the Canada. immigrant the multiculturalism; “I

a lot,” he says. “I read about the weather,

system; it’s a very big

country.” They arrived in Canada in June of 2015.


We are people like you—just

interrupted With help from Regina’s Open Door Society, a community agency, and financially supported for the first year by the federal government, Hany and his family are now living in a modern bungalow in a Regina suburb. His mother and father are currently attending English classes and his siblings are in school. Thanks to the University of Regina, whose president heard about Hany’s story, Hany is taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at


university that also accommodate his visual impairment.

At first Hany’s family was one of only about

Regina. Now that

10 Syrian refugee families in the government

has increased the number of Syrian refugees to 25,000 for 2016, Hany says there are over 40 families in the city. Now experienced newcomers, Hany and his family are helping the

20 / UNHCR

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