OTTAWA – Every July 1, Canada celebrates its national day, an occasion poignantly special to Muslims who have recently come to the country.
“I think a lot people find Canada a safe place. It’s nice to be reminded annually that it’s still a safe haven,” Mohammed Al-Radi, Syrian Muslim husband of Lamees and father of three-year-old Qaseem, told Atlantic CTV News.
Al-Radi family are among tens of thousands of refugees who have found refuge in Canada. They were able to make new friends who celebrate the national occasion with them in full hospitality.
Hannah Gray is a part of an NGO that sponsored Al-Radi’s to come to Truro in 2016 from a Syrian refugees camp in Jordan.
The NGO helped Al-Radis in getting new jobs, enrolling in English classes, and entering Qaseem to a daycare.
Unfortunately, Mohammed’s brother, wife and children are still refugees in camps at the Jordanian desert.
A group of Truro residents are raising money to sponsor them. “We can give Mohammed and Lamees a lot of things, but we can’t give them a family,” explains Gray. “And to have that here, to have a family that was so close to them, that would be priceless.”
According to the 2016 census by Statistics Canada, 21.9% of the Canadian population are new immigrants. Also, more than one in five Canadians were born abroad.
Moreover, Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey found that Islam is adhered by 3.2% of the total population. This makes Islam the second largest religion in the country after Christianity.
Canada’s Newest Islamic Monument
The world’s northernmost Islamic garden has been sculpted out of Alberta’s rugged countryside on a tract of land 15 minutes northwest of the Edmonton airport.
The Aga Khan Garden, funded by a $25-million donation, opened on Canada Day weekend on the grounds of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.
It’s just the second garden of its kind in North America, and is larger than the one that opened in Toronto in 2015.
Islamic gardens are drawn from Persian gardens established in the medievals and similar Islamic architectural treasures.