Mohamad Alhalal knows first hand what it’s like to pack up his life in a hurry and flee his home.
When the Syrian refugee heard about those in Fort McMurray who were forced to leave their homes, he wanted to do something to help.
Alhalal was one of dozens of local refugees who held a fundraiser Monday evening with all the money going to the Red Cross Fort McMurray relief efforts.
“The most difficult thing for anybody in this world is to lose their house,” he said. “We have experienced that. When we are in crisis, we have to help these people because we are part of this country as well.”
From the steps of city hall, the community performed cricket demonstrations, painted henna art on hands, and served up home made Syrian cuisine.
“We are together as one body, Canadians and refugees, to rebuild Fort McMurray and to help them stand on their feet again,” Alhalal said.
Open Door Society director Ali Abukar said the refugee community initiated the fundraiser and asked the organization for help with permits and advertising.
He said the event was also about civic engagement and empowerment by allowing refugees to contribute to the community and meet more people.