A young Burnaby man's dream of reuniting with his fiancÃ©e is closer to coming true, following a recent benefit concert at a local church.
Wissam Nassar, 26, came to Burnaby two years ago, after his family was sponsored as refugees by a Coquitlam couple, Ian and Heather Macdonald. But Nassar has a fiancÃ©e, Marwa, who is still in Syria, and the Macdonalds are now hoping to sponsor her to reunite the couple.
The two families hosted the concert at the South Burnaby United Church on June 29 and raised $2,500, which will help pay for Marwa to come to Canada.
"It's clear that it's going to happen," said Jamie Macdonald, son of Ian and Heather. "It's clear there will be enough money to cover her."
The Nassar family and Marwa are Palestinian refugees who fled Iraq and were living in Syria. With no passports or state of their own, they are ineligible to come to Canada through conventional means, even though they are refugees. The only way the Nassars were able to escape Syria was through private sponsorship, which can cost $13,000 to $14,000 a year. Money raised at the benefit show will help sponsor Marwa, and any funds leftover will help pay for her retraining as a nurse, her plane ticket to Vancouver and the couple's wedding.
"It was a great event and really touching," said Jamie. "You would not believe how proud (Wissam's) mother is. She was beaming all night. She was a little overwhelmed to see how many people she doesn't know at all were interested in helping."
Jamie said Marwa could be here in a matter of weeks. They are waiting for the United Nations to safely escort her to Lebanon and put her on a plane to Vancouver.
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