With a surprise visit on Saturday, volunteers from Calgary rush to help a Muslim farmer rebuild after a series of vandalism attacks on the vegetable farm where he works.
“I’m feeling good,” Mohamed Eldaher told CTV News. “Many (are now) saying, ‘Mohamed, it’s not only you here. We are beside you.'”
Eldaher is a Syrian immigrant who moved to Canada five years ago. Working in a vegetable farm, he was upset to see garbage constantly dumped on his property.
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“I’m very sad and very angry,” he said. “Why? What (did) I do?”
To help him, dozens of volunteers showed up at the farm to help weed his property and to finish building a homemade greenhouse.
Strangers, neighbors and friends have also donated money to put up a new fence for Eldaher and to install security cameras.
Land owner Abdullah Chybli praised Eldaher is a popular figure in the community.
“I really admire the gusto of people like Mohamed,” land owner Abdullah Chybli said. “He has a good attitude and is grateful in any situation.”
The co-founder of the Calgary Immigrant Support Society, which helped organize the weekend’s support, echoed Chybli.
“When something really bad happens, they always say counter that with something really big and good,” Saima Jamal said.
“And so that’s what’s happening here. This is the really big and good thing.”
Muslims in Canada today number more than 750,000.
Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey found that Islam is adhered to by 3.2% of the total population. This makes Islam the second-largest religion in the country after Christianity.