06 Dec 2019

New book features stories of local newcomer success

A new book –Amazing Atlantic Canadian Kids: Awesome Stories of Bravery and Adventure – also takes readers through the inspiring journey of a local newcomer family in this province.

John Boileau’s book features more than 50 young people from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador, sharing their incredible stories and accomplishments, past and present.

Among these amazing kids are the children in the Maarouf family (ANC clients): Mohammad, Chaymaa, Baraa and Yousef overcame heartache in war-torn Syria and persevered to build a future in Newfoundland and Labrador with their parents, Omar, a farmer, and mother, Khitam Damerji.

“Civil war in 2011 changed everything; there was not enough food and no electricity,” Boileau writes in the book. “The war had destroyed everything – not only their home and the children’s chances for an education, but also their hopes and their future.”  

When the family arrived in St. John’s in 2016, Boileau recounts, “People welcomed them warmly … The family felt they had discovered new relatives.”

The family had help finding comfort in their new community. The ANC helped the family with finding schools and supportive teachers for the children, and Omar and Khitam became students at the association’s ESL Training Centre. Khitam also was part of the ANC’s highly successful Global Eats Food Truck training program.

Along with talking about their success in Canada, the author describes how their new home in St. John’s, though “much colder and wetter” than Ashouaihdate, a small town in Syria, is a place to live safely. “The kids also like the fresh air and the trees, which remind them of their home,” he says.

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Kids: Awesome Stories of Bravery and Adventure is available at bookstores and public libraries throughout the province.