ILAC Welcomes Its First Syrian Refugee

We are proud to welcome the first Syrian refugee studying English at ILAC!

Ali Rahme, from Homs, Syria, is 6 weeks into his English course at ILAC Vancouver.

After arriving in Canada in early 2016, Ali found himself in the process of not only adapting to a new country with a culture very different than his own, but also having to learn a language he never spoke.

After his name was put forward by one of ILAC’s teachers, Ali found his way to ILAC, where his journey of learning to communicate comfortably in English began.

“Our school is one of the most diverse student bodies in the world, with a very noticeable and impressive balance of nationalities from many countries, all in one spot. This is a perfect opportunity for Ali to become exposed to the international environment, which is what Canada is all about, while learning English”, said Ilan Cohen, ILAC’s Co-President.

Ali is the first of 30 Syrian refugees who will be attending ILAC, thanks to our partnership with Languages Canada and its Syrian Refugee Integration Initiative to ease the resettlement of refugees coming to Canada.

“I think it’s a wonderful initiative. This is a difficult and tragic situation that we all know about all around the world, and Canada, by welcoming groups of refugees, is doing its part. We felt that as a language school we should step up and join the effort because language is where it all starts”, said Cohen.

Ali’s kindness and gratefulness touched everyone’s hearts. His classmates, teachers, and student ambassadors got along with him since the first day.

“I’m happy to welcome and assist the first Syrian refugee at ILAC,” said Sahar Najeb, ILAC Vancouver’s Student Ambassador for Middle Eastern Students.

We had the pleasure to ask Ali a few questions about his experience in Canada and his first weeks of IMG_0926learning English at ILAC. Some of the factors he found amusing about ILAC are the routine, schedules, teaching styles, management, and the help of his student ambassador.

“I would like to say a big thanks to ILAC and their amazing effort to welcome me, and helping me learn English”, said Ali.

This initiative is part of the ILAC Foundation, which was established in 2009 to promote peace through education.

Our core values are quality, diversity, and respect. As the non-profit division of the International Language Academy of Canada, we support local and international initiatives that provide educational opportunities for students around the world. We are honoured to welcome more Syrian refugees at ILAC and help them with the transition into a new culture!

“We are corporate citizens of Canada, and we’re here to help. This is just something we do from the heart, like everyone else who is helping the Syrian refugees”, commented Jonathan Kolber, ILAC’s Executive Director.

Click here to learn more about the Syrian Refugee Integration Initiative by Languages Canada.


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