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After five long years of waiting, planning, and fund-raising, members of the Parish of St. John’s, Shaughnessy and their partner, members of the Parish of St Philip’s, welcomed the arrival of the Kandeel family from Lebanon on Tuesday, June 27, 2023.  

This Palestinian-Syrian family fled Syria during the recent war when their daughter Tala was four and spent the last nine years in a camp, where their two sons, Mohammad and Ghaith, were born. Several members of their extended family have already settled in the Greater Vancouver area having been sponsored by other parishes in the diocese. In fact, the small greeting committee from the parish was joined by no fewer than a dozen relatives including grandparents who had not seen their daughter and grandchildren for five years. It was a privilege to witness such a joyous reunion.  

The first few weeks have been busy indeed with volunteers from the parish helping to move them into their new apartment, finding furniture appropriate to their needs, and shuttling them to appointments with Services Canada, signing them up for telephone and bank accounts, Vancouver School Board to register the children, and meeting with settlement services people at MOASIC.

We look forward to getting to know the family over the next year and helping them settle into their new lives in Canada. 


Mary Lynburner, Debbie Matheson from St. Philips, the Rev. Terry Dirbas, Jennifer Clarke and Robyn Woodward from St. John’s welcome the Kandeels  (Hadeel, Bassel, Tala, Mohammad and Ghaith) at YVR.  

Photo: Submitted