Brentwood Bay’s Liza Glynn talks to her cousin via Skype about daily life in Damascus and says she hopes her family can be reunited in Canada soon
Liza Glynn, who fled to Canada from Lebanon with her family in 1976, is now trying to bring her cousin and his family to safety.
Hagop, his wife, and two young children live in Damascus, Syria, where they’ve been facing the realities of a violent civil war for the past five years.
“He says two days it’s been very calm, but two days before they had a lot of rockets and they also noticed the different sounds of the airplanes which would be the Russians,” says Glynn as she translates for her cousin.
Glynn has started the refugee sponsorship application process but there’s a catch — although Hagop was born and raised in Syria, he is considered Lebanese because his father is from Lebanon.
So Glynn says the family may not technically be considered “Syrian” refugees by the Canadian government, and she worries their application will be put on hold as the government focuses on its Syrian refugee program.
Because they’re Christian, Hagop says he worries every day his family will be targeted.
Speaking via Skype, he says ISIS destroyed his home outside Damascus and he now lives with his parents — his kids go directly between home and school each day.
“He says it’s not natural how they’re living because they only know the war, he says my children have never kicked a ball or rode a bicycle or gone swimming.”
Not only would bringing her cousin’s family to Canada mean their safety and freedom, but Glynn lives with Multiple Sclerosis and says it would be beneficial to her to have family living here.
“It would just be a joy to have the rest of your life with your family nearby.”
Glynn has found local churches to help sponsor her family — they would live with her and she’s raised $25,000 so far to support them.
She has contacted local politicians to try and push the process forward.
“We don’t want to expedite it because there are a lot of people waiting but we want to participate for them to have a chance to come,” she says.
Hagop is desperate to bring his family to safety yet somehow manages to keep a smile on his face, holding out hope for a reunion with his Canadian cousin soon.