‘It teaches you not to lose hope’: students share their impressions of refugee story

Abbotsford Middle School students happy to welcome newcomers to town

The Alshayeb family's two youngest children

A class of Abbotsford Middle School students recently read a News story published Oct. 12, “LONG ROAD HOME: A family starts fresh after a turbulent decade.”

Some students wrote to express their opinions on the story, which chronicles the Alshayeb family’s harrowing journey, which took them through several countries before they found a permanent home in Mt. Lehman.

Here are a few of the students’ letters.

‘This was how my dad felt when he just immigrated from Vietnam’

My name is Augustine Nguyen. I go to Abbotsford Middle School. I am in grade 8 and we are doing a project on “Long Road To Home.”

My thoughts about this story: This was how my dad felt when he just immigrated from Vietnam, because he came from a much harsher environment, just like how the family from [Iraq] came here.

It’s great to see different people coming to Canada.

I think the article was a nice article. It was a story full of struggles and really tells us how lucky we are to live in Canada. I especially liked the part where it started to get happy, how they found a house and how government decided to show how lucky we are to be in school and to be thankful for basically everything we have. It was quite inspiring.

‘It showed us what they went through, and how hard it was’

My name is Daniel. I thought the story was very good because at the beginning it showed us what they went through and how hard it was but at the end it turned out good and they got what they need to live a good life.

‘The pain and rough patches in the lives of other people’

Hi, my name is Shyann. I go to Abbotsford Middle School and I think that your article was a good way to show us the pain and rough patches in the lives of other people throughout the world.

‘It teaches you not to lose hope’

Hello my name is Sebastian. My teacher has shown me this article and I Like it. I like this article because it teaches you not to lose hope and even in the toughest days you can still power through it. This family has had the most incredibly hard journey but they got to the place they are now happy, healthy and have a good life. Thank you.

‘I am really happy they are alright and living in Canada’

I found that your story on the refugees was very touching. It really showed how hard it is for them. And it was very sad to see a family with kids and loving parents have to go through something as cruel as war. I am really happy they are alright and living in Canada with tons of nice people and a nice life.

‘We are very lucky to live in Canada’

I am a student at Abbotsford Middle School, and I just finished reading your article about the [Palestinian] Family. I think the article was a great way to show us how many people that don’t have as much as we do and that we are very lucky to live in Canada. I now realize that they are only one family and that there are tons more like them.

‘What exactly they went through just to get somewhere that was barely safe’

My name is Hannah and I am a student at Abbotsford Middle School. My teacher gave us the article on the refugee family from [Iraq], and said we had to email you about it. I thought it was a really cool article. I especially liked that I got to see what exactly they went through just to get somewhere that was barely safe.

‘A good way to show you not to give up’

i think the “Long Road Home” article was really good. it’s a good way to show people that life is not always easy, and its also a good way to show you not to give up and now the family can live a healthy, good life.

‘How desperate and how difficult it is’

I think the “Long Road Home” was a good article addressing the struggles of refugees and how desperate and how difficult it is to try and survive in the war zone that has engulfed millions of people. And it shows how the family in this article has came from there and is showing how thankful and the difference between the two countries. It also shows how average Canadians like me or you can help people, children from a war-torn country find help and a place to stay.

‘Filled with hope’

Hi, my name is Arsh. I am 13 and go to Abbotsford Middle School. My whole class just finished reading the article titled: “Long Road Home.” What a great real life story. The struggles the family had to go through and then finally finding home in Canada is just truly amazing. Thank you for sharing this fantastic story, which is just filled with hope.

‘It just goes to show us what some people have to go through’

Hi, my name is Hannah and I am a student from Abbotsford Middle school. I had to read the article “Long Road Home” in class and it is very good. It just goes to show us what some people have to go through to get to a safe country.

‘I love how they can be going through rough time and they can always be positive’

Hi, my name is Kim. I really like the article about the [Alshayebs] settling in Abbotsford. it’s really eye catching by far one of my favorite articles. i love how they can be going through rough time and they can always be positive through it all and they were so thankful about everything that happen to them.

i think the article was inspiring is people at a low in their life can go to such a high and restart and that they moved so close to us, just by Mt Lehman.

‘It gives me hope that everything is going to get better’

Hi my name is Manraj Sangha, I am from Abbotsford Middle School, and I am sending you this email because I found your article very nice because it gives me hope that everything is going to get better. I am very happy that there are people like this in Abbotsford and in Canada. It is stories like this that give me hope. It also makes me happy to be a Canadian, because I can tell the world that we are doing something to help the refugee crisis. We are accepting refugees. This article can tell us to not take things for granted. We are very lucky to be able to have an education, a proper shelter, and even food and water. I am very happy that people in Syria and in other war torn countries can have hope that they can have a chance at a life, a life that is nice and peaceful away from all of their problems.

‘It tells us what is going on around the world’

Hi my name is Madalyn and I think your article “Long Road Home” is good because it tells us what is going on around the world. It also shows us if we can do something, anything to help people out there like that.

‘There are still great people’

Hi my name is Rheya, i am 13 and in grade 8 at Abby Middle student. I am sending this because i loved your article

I find this story great because it show’s how there are still great people

‘In the end they did well’

Hi, my name is Alex. I am 13 and I’m going to Abbotsford Middle School. I’m going to talk about what i thought about this story. Here we go: I think it was quite interesting because they started out good, then some of the family were put in a refugee camp, but in the end they did well.

‘Canadians are willing to let people in-need into Canada’

Hi, my name is Logan K

I like the story because it shows that Canadians are willing to let people in-need into Canada

‘Even in the toughest days you can still power through’

Hello i’m Sebastian and I liked the article Syrians settle in Abbotsford that my teacher showed me. I like this article because it teaches you not to lose hope and even in the toughest days you can still power through it. This family has had the most incredibly hard journey but they got to the place they are now happy, healthy and have a good life.

‘Some people need help’

Hi I’m Logan and I’m a student from Abbotsford Middle School. After reading this article, I think that it is great what we are doing. It shows that some people need help and we are willing to help them and provide them assistance.

‘Life isn’t easy so respect and be thankful’

I’m Kyle (a girl) I am a student from Abby Middle. Today I was reading an article on a family that “starts fresh after a turbulent decade.” You guys wrote that and all i wanted to say is that it was really really good because, It shows how much they went though and that life isn’t easy so respect and be thankful for what you have because you might not get it tomorrow.

‘More people will have safe caring and peaceful homes’

Hi my name is Darly. I’m from Abby Middle and this story is amazing how the community helped a bunch of refugees and all around the world. If we keep helping refugees more people will have safe caring and peaceful homes and still have their family.

‘Very cool’

Hey, my name is Matheus.

Today in class we read the “Long Road Home” article and we are to send our opinions on it.

I think it’s very cool how the men and women had formed the Mt. Lehman Resettlement Committee and raised $35,000 to bring families and the Alshayeb family into our community.

‘I am happy for this family’

Hi, my name is Iman. l am from Syria l am in Abby Middle School. Thank you.

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