The Syrian refugee crisis, which was triggered by the ongoing civil war in Syria, has resulted in the largest exodus of civilians since World War II. That is a fact. More than nine million Syrians have fled their homes- more than three million Syrians have fled to neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq while another 6.5 million refugees are living within Syria.
Personally speaking, as a Canadian of Iraqi background, I can relate very well to the situation of Syrian refugees. My family in Iraq has been displaced by the sectarian violence that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands Iraqi civilians since 2003. The story of my family, which had to relocate in two different countries, is no exception from millions of other refugee stories. However, the common factor that combines all refugee stories together is seeking protection and finding a new place to live peacefully.
I felt tremendously proud when our government decided to bring Syrian refugees home, give them a status and a place they can call home. Therefore, as soon as I received the call from MCIS Language Solutions to help interpreting for those refugees, I decided to leave everything behind and dedicate all my time to help the refugees. The joy that I felt when my eyes fell on the first family entering the terminal was indescribable. My heart was dancing, I felt like telling everyone “welcome home”.
Our teams of interpreters were very professional in dealing with the refugees. There was no discrimination based on religion, race, culture or other factors. Everyone was abiding by our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
As a supervising interpreter, I noticed that every MCIS interpreter kept everything confidential, remained impartial, and treated everyone with respect. The refugees, who suffered massive displacement, were very grateful to our services. Our presence in the airport made a huge difference, the refugees felt at home, because there was no language barriers while they were finishing their landing process. They could not find words to thank Canada and us for restoring hope in their hearts.
That hope and joy were felt in the air every night a new dispatch of refugees arrives in Canada. A sense of celebration fills the place starting when the first refugee in the dispatch sets foot in the airport, until the last one leaves the terminal. Our interpreters never feel tired of telling them “welcome home”.