10 Apr
Syrian Refugee Success Story, Saskatchewan - The Turkmani Family

The Turkmani family arrived in Regina on February 12, 2016, as a result of being co-sponsored by a relative, named Sali Mitri and the All Saints Church. 

The Turkamanis are Syrian Orthodox, and they owned a clothing store in Syria. Unfortunately, when the war started in Syria, their business fell drastically, and when Syria’s political situation worsened the family could not even go to Lebanon because it was also politically unstable. The war in Syria interrupted the children’s education, Nawal was in High school, and Joseph planned to major in Geology in his first year at the University. Moreover, it became very challenging to obtain Joseph’s medication as he suffered from diabetes. 

Eventually, the Turkmanis were forced to travel illegally to Lebanon, where they became dependent on their relatives who supported them with the help of other relatives who lived outside Syria.

Not long after the Turkamanis arrived in Regina, Joseph’s interest in electronics led him to work as a technician trainee at Nanotech. Mr. Turkmani (the dad) found work in the summer with a landscaper in Regina.  Anteonette and Nawal found summer jobs in a Pizza and ice cream parlor through a mutual family friend in Indian Head. 

In the fall of 2016, Mr. Turkmani and his wife took over a bakery and Pizza restaurant in Grenfell. They also have an apartment in Regina which the son shares with his sister, Nawal, who recently graduated from Grade 12 and looking to start university. Mr. Turkmani and his wife commute on weekends when business is slow.

Credit: The Diocese of Qu'Appelle, Regina SK

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