Sixth annual Walk with Refugees takes over Halifax streets

A group of over 100 people took to the downtown streets of Halifax Sunday afternoon for the sixth annual Walk with Refugees.

“It’s an opportunity to build awareness and also bring the first person voice forward for refugees,” said Denise Scott with Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

“This is that opportunity to talk with someone directly or be able to meet with someone within the walk or be able to strike up a conversation and ask well what’s your experience.”

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Easa Al-Harira was among the refugees at the event open to sharing his experience. He said it’s important for people to understand why Canada’s ongoing support of refugees is so crucial.

“I ask everyone to put themselves in the same situation. There’s a war going on, there’s firing and bombing. My main concern was to save the little kids,” he said.

Three years ago a community group sponsored his family to come to Halifax, something he called an opportunity of a lifetime.

“They helped us in the first year to settle and go back to school and learn English, I am so grateful for this,” he said.

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Al-Harira adds that he’s especially grateful that his children will now have the opportunity to grow up in a safe environment.

“They are playing soccer, they like to go to school, make new friends. They are enjoying so much.”

Councillor Tony Mancini attended the walk and says he’s glad that the Halifax Regional Municipality has been able to open it’s doors to so many refugees.

“How brave of them to leave their country because it wasn’t safe, and they wanted to have a safer place for their families, so they took a long journey, for many a dangerous journey to come here,” he said.