December 23 was a very special night for Mohamad Ali.
A few years ago, Mohamad left his home in Syria and settled in Egypt, as a refugee. On December 9, he landed in Montreal and became a permanent resident of Canada. He was welcomed by a group who sponsored him, one of the members being Danielle Leblanc, a past employee and international delegate with the Canadian Red Cross.
His first reflex when he settled in his new home? He wanted to get involved in welcoming other Syrian refugees. Danielle immediately called the Red Cross, to ask if Mohamad could get involved.
The stars were aligned: an interpreter position had just opened at the Montreal Welcome Centre, where volunteers welcome and help guide refugees through their first few hours in Canada, in support of the Government of Canada.
He worked his first shift on December 23:
“I work with the Red Cross as I believe in humanity. [...] So many people... tens of people are here. They are all volunteers, and they want to assist in welcoming Syrian refugees. When I saw all of them here tonight, I was so very happy... I had tears in my eyes.”
Read more stories about refugees arriving in Canada and the refugee crisis.