Gala Looks To Re-Unite Refugees With Family

A fundraiser in Windsor is looking to reconnect a pair of refugee university students with their families.

Project Syria — a group based on the University of Windsor campus — is partnering with a pair of groups to put on a gala hoping to raise $45,000 to re-unite Deaa Sham and Tamam Yasin with their families.

Both are first-year students at the University of Windsor and refugees from Syria — who have since become permanent residents. Sham and Yasin's families are in refugee camps in countries neighbouring Syria.

Hussein Zarif is on the organizing committee for Project Syria and says his two friends have gone through a lot to get to Canada.

"They've gone through some pretty traumatic circumstances — Deaa had his father pass away in the war, both of them had their homes destroyed," says Zarif. "It's pretty unfortunate and you can imagine, they're studying here in Canada and their family is back home in danger; it would be kind of hard for you to focus as a student with a lot of that over your head."

Zarif says Deaa and Tamam are grateful for the support.

"One of the comments that touched me the most was he told me, 'You're a brother from another mother,'" says Zarif. "It was kind of a sweet little comment that showed how much they appreciated it and it's also common expression here."

Zarif hopes to have the $45,000 raised by the fall.

Last year, the inaugural fundraising gala put on by Project Syria drew in 300 attendees. This year they're looking to bring in more than 500.

The event is set for Friday at the Serbian Centre (6770 Tecumseh Rd E) with doors opening at 5:30pm.

Click here for more information on tickets.