Maher Al-Mutawaa

Maher Al-Mutawaa was interviewed at the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada classes by Rasha Fahim, an Immigrant Services Kingston and Area youth settlement worker with Kingston Community Health Centres. Translation of the interview from Arabic to English was provided by Rasha Fahim.

I have been in Kingston for about a year and four months now. We are very happy here in Kingston. People here are very kind and friendly. The Canadian government has provided us with a great amount of support for all the Syrian refugees. KEYS helped me obtain a job. ISKA [Immigrant Services Kingston and Area] helped us a lot and I thank them a lot for all the help they provided in settling us here comfortably. I also thank them for the many things they offered like the snowsuits, boots, food hampers, and many programs for my family and I. The health services are great too. Now I live with my wife and three daughters and we are all happy and comfortable. I would like to thank the Canadian government and Justin Trudeau for all the help and support provided for us as refugees to this country. I used to live in the Zaatari Refugee Camp and Canada has given me and my family a better life. I would like to pose a question to the Canadian government and I hope my voice can be heard. My cousin went through all the procedures to come here as a refugee from the same camp a year ago; he was interviewed and given a medical examination. He has been waiting for a whole year and he has heard nothing. I pray that Justin Trudeau can help my cousin come here and give him and his family a chance to live again the way my family and I were given another chance to live a secure and prosperous life in Canada.

Newcomers to Kingston - like Maher - rely on the Community Refugee Relief Fund to have a happy start in our city. Ongoing donations to the fund are appreciated and can be made at

Learn more about the City of Kingston’s partnership in supporting the Community Refugee Relief Fund at