Photo: Devin Jones

Life of a Mesopotamian refugee returns to Ryerson

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By Sidney Drmay

From Nov. 14 to 17 students from the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union (ACSSU) of Canada slept outside the Student Campus Centre to raise money for Catholic Near East Welfare Association of Canada to distribute to the displaced peoples of Syria and Iraq through their projects that aim to support students who are in need. Last year the event raised over $28,450, close to $4,000 more than their original goal. This year the team set their goal at a minimum of $30,000.

The volunteers involved were not allowed use of electronics, could only eat food donated to them by others and had to sleep outside in an effort to emulate the life of the refugees.

Mariam Rafo fourth-year bioethics and biology student has been volunteering all week and has her own.

“I immigrated to Canada when I was seven years old and I am an Assyrian so this is something that is very close to my heart because it is a part of who I am and because of the refugee crisis I still have a lot of family and friends who are suffering,” Rafo said.

“The Ryerson community has definitely helped us, the governing council and the SCC have really opened up their doors to us to allow us have this event the community and the passerbys have been great whether it’s raising awareness or collecting donations.”


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