Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' London, Ontario, Canada

A 36 year old mother from Homs, Syria, tells us how her family received the news that they would be able to move to Canada:

"I received a message on my phone, saying that my application was selected for migration to Canada, “Do you accept to go to Canada?” And at the same time, the UN office called my husband on his phone, and they told him what was in the message, but my husband told them that he had to discuss the subject with his family, and that he would call them back. We were in different places, my husband was at work and I was outside too, but I called him and told him about the message, and he told me that they called him directly. We decided to discuss this matter with our children in the evening, and also, I had to discuss this subject with my parents and to take a proper decision.

My father received a phone call on the same day, and they told him that “your application was selected to come to Canada, do you accept?” He immediately replied yes. So, in the evening, we went to my parents to discuss this matter, to see what they would advise us. When we arrived at my parents’ house, they told us that the UN called them for Canada and he told them “Yes, I accept to go to Canada."

Canadian Resettlement, Jordan by IOM - UN Migration is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We discussed and explained the subject to our children, and they welcomed the idea with fear, happiness and hesitation. But the situation in Jordan had become very critical, the government was cutting back on work opportunities for Syrians, and they stopped issuing work permits whatsoever, and without a work permit you cannot work. So, they wanted us to pay for rent, for food and everything, but without working in Jordan. My husband and I were very afraid because if they caught us at work, they would send us back to Syria directly, without informing our family or his parents. They would arrest him, send him to prison and issue a deportation notice and send him back to Syria."

Decisions about migration and resettlement often affect extended family groups, whether all members of the family will be able to live together in the receiving country or not.  This resource page from the UNHCR contain information about different pathways for admission of Syrian refugees to countries around the world.


This extract is from an interview conducted by SUZAN ILCAN during 2019 as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.