Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

7 Children in Syrian Refugee Family Die in Fire in Canada

Syrian Refugees | 2019-02-19 09:02:00
7 Children in Syrian Refugee Family Die in Fire in Canada
Seven children from a family of Syrian refugees were killed early Tuesday in a fire that destroyed their home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the authorities and friends of the family said.

Pictures of the house posted online showed a gutted and blackened husk whose roof and second floor appeared to have been destroyed. Friends of the family said they had planned to move out of the home next week.

The police said the fire erupted shortly before 1 a.m. and caused life-threatening injuries to the children’s father and less severe injuries to their mother. Both were taken to a nearby hospital.

“They are from Raqqa, which is one of the worst affected areas in Syria,” said Abdallah Yousri, an imam at Ummah Masjid and Community Center, a mosque the family attended. “They fled from there to be burned over here. It is unbelievable.”

The authorities did not name the family, but their mosque posted a memorial to the children on Facebook on Tuesday afternoon. The youngest victim, Abdullah, was 4 months old and the oldest, Ahmed, was 15 years old, the mosque said. The others were Rana, 3; Hala, 4; Ghala, 8; Mohammed, 10; and Rola, 12.

Mr. Yousri said the parents, Ibrahim and Kawthar Barho, took their family to Canada in 2017. He said he was among many local Muslim leaders who rushed to the hospital to help on Tuesday.

Mr. Yousri said he spent most of the day consoling Ms. Barho and making difficult phone calls to their relatives, some in Raqqa, others scattered across refugee communities in Turkey and Lebanon. Losing seven children at once is not something that is supposed to happen once you have safely fled a war zone, he said.

“I called the family back home and they cannot believe it,” Mr. Yousri said. “Everyone is shocked. Seven kids at the same time, it is really hard.”
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Ibrahim and Kawthar Barho with five of their seven children who were killed in a fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday.CreditUmmah Masjid and Community Center
Wael Haridy, an imam at the Nova Scotia Islamic Center, also rushed to the hospital, where he served as an ad hoc translator for Ms. Barho. He said she speaks little English and had to consent to an emergency operation for her husband.

The New York Times

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