Greater Victoria marks World Refugee Day with events starting Saturday
Sharmarke Dubow, a Somali refugee living in Victoria, missed his best friend's wedding in the United States a few weeks ago because he was worried he'd be detained at the border.
President Donald Trump's travel ban, aimed at six Muslim majority countries, including Somalia, Dubow did not want to risk the crossing after hearing stories of other Canadian Muslims being refused entry.
Dubow doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize getting his Canadian citizenship. He has passed the exam and is waiting for the notice to attend the citizenship ceremony where he will swear his oath.
It's also why Dubow, one of the organizers of World Refugee Day in Victoria, wanted this year's events to counter anti Muslim, anti genuine pandora charms online refugee rhetoric. Local events start Saturday and run until World Refugee Day on Tuesday.
Dubow pointed to Statistics Canada data that found the number of police reported hate crimes against Muslims jumped by 60 per cent in 2015 compared with the previous year. In January, Canada's Muslim community was shocked pandora jew by the shooting in a Quebec mosque that left six dead.
Dubow said the only way to counter those divisions is to break down stereotypes and encourage dialogue across cultures.
Victoria's cheap pandora gold charms World Refugee Day theme is "Moving Forward Together: Getting to Know Our New Neighbours" and the events are aimed at sharing personal stories so that people can set aside their prejudices and biases.
Refugees bring more than "only two suitcases" with them, Dubow said. "We bring our beauty, we bring our knowledge, we bring our culture."
People starting a new life in Canada often struggle with language barriers, loss of identity, culture shock and finding their place in society. These challenges will be acted out by a group of refugees pandora sale bracelets and immigrants performing at Victoria City Hall on Tuesday.
The group's artistic director, Taiwo Afolabi, said the performers will draw on their experiences in migrating from Syria, Israel, the Soviet Union, Hong Kong, Thailand and Nigeria and adapting to new lives in Victoria.
"It's not just the stories of refugees alone, but we're exploring stories around migrants and newcomers and their experiences of what they face when they get here: stories around identity, culture, place in society," said Afolabi, a doctoral student at the University of Victoria who is studying how theatre can give an outlet to displaced people. "And beyond that is the role that Victoria plays in accommodating refugees and newcomers.".
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