Syrian refugees are exhibiting solidarity with Canadians impacted by wildfires in a major way by coming together to organize relief efforts.
Recent wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta devastated the area and reportedly destroyed around 1,600 homes.
Being no strangers to destruction and despair, Syrian refugees living in Calgary, Alberta are gathering money to buy relief supplies for the affected individuals.
They organized these efforts through the Syrian Refugee Support Group, established to help newly arrived refugees in Calgary feel more welcome and comfortable.
Members of this group are gathering things like water, toiletries and medical supplies, doing whatever they can to aid those impacted by the wildfires.
Naser Nader, one of the refugees involved, said the horrors he lived through in Syria are a large part of what inspired him to help.
Speaking to CNN via a translator, he said,
I've lived it. I've been there. I've seen the fires. I've seen the blood. I've experienced the losses... We felt like we had to do something because we lived through that experience.
Rita Kallas, a Syrian refugee working alongside Naser, expressed similar sentiments. She said,
We understand what they're feeling. You can't bring it back. When you lose everything it's very sad. It's very terrible for you. The Canadian people have helped us a lot. It's our turn to pay them back. It's our turn to be a part of this community.
In a world where refugees from the Middle East, especially Syria, are often viewed with suspicion, this stands as a powerful example we are all human at our core. Sometimes, we all just need someone to lend us a hand.