‘Thank God we are here, we are safe’: Syrian refugee family become Canadian citizens

December 16, 2019

By CBC News |

Four years after arriving in B.C. as Syrian refugees, a Burnaby family is now officially Canadian, after taking an oath of citizenship last week.

“When we landed here we didn’t know where we are — we just landed somewhere after a 13 hour flight,” said Vicken Majarian.

“Now we know the country very well, we know the culture — it’s a very multicultural country and we are trying to keep our culture plus the Canadian one. We were Syrian-Armenians, now [we’ve] become Canadian-Armenians.”

Vicken Majarian and his wife Alin Arekelian and their children Haig and Karni arrived in B.C. on December 22, 2015.

The former dentist and civil engineer left Aleppo after being sponsored by the St. Gregory Armenian Church in Richmond.

At the time, holding back tears at YVR, Arekelian described the family’s plight.

“We were imagining this moment for a long time. It’s not easy to be in war. All the rockets just falling down on our buildings. You just hide in the basement, waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“It’s not easy.”

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