Two Palestinian Iraqi families that had lived in the Comox Valley now reside in other parts of Canada. Both had fled their homeland and lived in United Nations camps between Iraq and Syria before heading overseas.
The Al Halaaqs, a family of nine that lived in Comox, moved to Halifax, N.S. six months after arriving last year. Yousif, the head of the family who had landed a job at Sixth Street Barbers, is barbering part-time in his new city. His wife, Abitsim, has about 30 family members in Halifax. Her father recently passed away.
“We tried to get her back in time and she just missed him,” said Dave Talbot, chair of the Comox Valley Refugee Support Committee. “Sad because she hadn’t seen him for four years. Her mother really wanted her to come back and be part of the family back there…We moved them there and supported them for the next six months financially.”
The Abo Nofals, who had moved to Courtenay before the Al Halaaqs arrived in the Valley, now reside in Burnaby. The eldest daughter of Ali and Laila Abo Nofal lives close by, as does Ali’s brother, who had been living in Creston, B.C.