“Just a sincere welcome…” photo doc project by Stephanie Colvey – Photos taken on a road trip in Nova Scotia, summer 2017.
I have been meeting and photographing newly arrived Syrians in my hometown of Montréal since February 2016, soon after the Canadian government announced the welcoming of refugees from the war in Syria.
I wanted to get to know these newcomers personally, and through photography, allow other Canadians a glimpse into their realities. I am convinced that as Canadians, we can and should offer safety and a future to people who are victims of political violence.
If we know these newcomers to Canada, we will see that refugees do not threaten us, and that they can and will contribute to our society in various ways. Rejecting them is a rejection of humanity.
After a year and a half of getting to know and appreciate resilient, positive, loving people who have welcomed me into their homes and generously shared with me their day to day lives in Montréal, I wanted to see how newly arrived Syrian families are faring in towns and communities other than a metropolis.
So, in the summer of 2017, along with my sweetheart and in our newly acquired small RV, I set out for Nova Scotia, where I have a couple of friends who could introduce me to people involved in helping newly arrived Syrian families.
From Chéticamp to Halifax, passing by Sydney Mines and Antigonish, we met individuals and families from Syria who are beginning new lives in their new homes.
I also met Nova Scotians who, through their generosity and kindness, are making a difference in the lives of our soon to be fellow Canadians, making them feel at home, and through small to big gestures, are helping to assure their inclusion in our society.
I am happy to introduce you to these people through my photographs.
This project includes the following stories:
- Al Asfar Family in Sydney Mines
- Al Nassan Family in Chéticamp, Cape Breton
- Al Zhouri Family in Antigonish
- Carol Affour from Montréal at Tim Horton Camp at Tatamagouche
- El Imam Family in St. Andrews
- Hadhad Family – Mother and Daughter in Antigonish
- Hassan Family in Halifax
- Sisters Saafa and Raaja in Halifax