Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gay Syrian Refugees Start New Life In Vancouver

Aamer, whose face is obscured because he's not out to his family, and his partner Danny Ramadan arrive at Vancouver International Airport, thanks to sponsors David Salter and Ron Rosell, at right. (Photo Credit: Margaret Gallagher)
Danny Ramadan and his partner Aamer are two gay refugees from Syria. Ramadan told the CBC that he's been "gay-bashed in the Arab world" and "disowned" by his family. Danny and Aamer were sponsored by David Salter and Ron Rosell. Danny says he's very happy being in Vancouver: "Here, I have the ability to be myself finally." Welcome to Canada!

CBC reports:
Two gay Syrian refugees are enjoying their first full day in Canada Wednesday, thanks to the efforts of local sponsors and supporters. "I want to ride a roller coaster for the first time," says Danny Ramadan. "I would also like to give back to the community that brought me here. It's just beyond (my dreams)." Ramadan and his partner Aamer (who has requested that we not use his last name or photograph because he's not out to his family) are among the first refugees from the war in Syria to arrive in Vancouver. The Syrian war has created over 3 million refugees and, almost a year ago, Canada pledged to take in 1,300 before the end of 2014. Before coming to Canada this week, the couple had been living in Beirut, Lebanon. But Ramadan says that as tensions rise in Syria, there's increasing racism towards Syrians in Lebanon—a nation that has taken in over 1.1 million Syrian refugees so far. By coming to Canada, the pair is also hoping to escape the homophobia they faced in Syria and Lebanon. READ MORE