Syrian refugee Danny Ramadan pays it forward with Vancouver fundraiser

October 2, 2015

By CBC News |

It’s been a year since Syrian refugees Danny Ramadan and his partner Aamar, landed in Canada, and to celebrate they are throwing a fundraiser — but the money is not for them.

Ramadan says they want to raise money to sponsor two more refugees to come to Canada.

“I remember dancing on the phone with my partner,” Ramadan recalls, thinking of the day the embassy called letting him know his visa was ready.

Since that day, the two have started a new life in Vancouver and now they finally feel established in their new home.

Ramada has a job at QMUNITY as a volunteer coordinator while Aamar works as a dental technician.

“It was like climbing a mountain, but we feel like we are heading up,” says Ramadan, who now wants to help others make the same journey.

More than a war zone

At the same time the pair want to help Canadians understand more about other side of the country they once fled.

“The country Syria is not just a civil war. It is way more than that,” he said.

That’s why the pair are holding a fundraising event at a mansion on 1188 Connaught Drive in Vancouver on Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 1 pm.

With each room offering something different, there will be traditional food, a photo booth with traditional Syrian clothing to try on, as well as lessons in the traditional Syrian folk dance known as dabkih.

“I wanted to show the beauty of Syria, the song and dance, instead of the civil war and people killing each other. I wanted to bring the reality of Syria, before the war,” say Ramadan.

The fundraising event is open to the public and the money raised will go toward two sponsorship applications.

‘The right choice to sponsor’

One of the refugees they plan to sponsor is their friend Rory, a lesbian living in Turkey, and they have already raised $3,315 toward that goal.

“She is like the right choice to sponsor. She is a refugee that represents all the challenges faced by all Syrian refugees and at the same time she is a dear friend,” he said.

“She has been struggling and had to leave Lebanon to go to Turkey.”

It could take up to 57 months to process her application, says Ramadan

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