How one family’s loss led to a Syrian family’s home in Cape Breton

Before he died, a Baddeck man decided he wanted his house to become home to a Syrian refugee family

By Wendy Martin, CBC News Posted: Feb 18, 2018

Bill Fraser of Baddeck, N.S., passed away last month, but his empty house will now become a home for a Syrian family of six.

Bill Fraser of Baddeck, N.S., passed away last month, but his empty house will now become a home for a Syrian family of six. (Submitted by Lorna Fraser)


Shortly before he entered a care facility a few months ago, Bill Fraser of Baddeck, N.S., was thinking of what might happen to his empty house.

“He said to me, ‘Lorna, what do you think of this family of Syrian refugees? Could that be a nice use of my home?'” recalled his sister, Lorna Fraser.

Bill Fraser thought he would eventually recover from ill health and return to Baddeck. But he died last month.

Now, his sister has arranged to lease his house and has donated most of its furnishings to a Syrian family of six who will arrive in the Cape Breton village later this spring.


Esmaeels family

The Esmaeels will soon arrive in Baddeck, N.S., from Jordan. (Submitted by Syria to Baddeck Committee)


“Out of sadness comes good things, sometimes,” said Jennifer MacDonald, a member of the Syria to Baddeck steering committee.

She said the committee had been looking for months for a suitable house, but there was little available in the community of 800.

Fraser’s house is ideal, she said, adding that it has three bedrooms and is within walking distance of the school and grocery store.

“It’s also avoided us having to do any sort of major furniture drive,” said MacDonald, “because the house is essentially move-in ready.”


Big relief to have living arrangements

The Syria to Baddeck committee began raising money in November 2015 to bring a family to the island. To date, the group has raised close to $40,000.

MacDonald said there have been a number of delays, due largely to a backlog in the private sponsorship refugee program.


Bill Fraser 2

Lorna Fraser says her brother Bill Fraser, pictured here, would be pleased that the Syrian family will be moving into his former home. (Submitted by Lorna Fraser)


The committee now expects the family, which includes four children between the ages of four and 14, to arrive in March or April.

MacDonald said it’s a big relief to know their living arrangements are in place.

A man ‘supportive of community’

Lorna Fraser said she believes her brother would be pleased with the outcome.

“He was very much supportive of community, and what community could do for you, and would really want to be helping this family.”

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Yazidi Teen Who Escaped from ISIS Captivity

Yazidi Teen Who Escaped from ISIS Captivity Recounts Her Harrowing Experiences

Published on Mar 24, 2016

Interviewed on the German Deutsche Welle TV, a Yazidi teenager recounted how she and her family had been captured when ISIS attacked her village near Sinjar, Iraq. Pervin – not her real name – who was 15 years old at the time, said that the men, including her father, had been killed by ISIS and that over 5,000 Yazidi girls had been housed together in Mosul, where they had been beaten and sold into slavery. Girls as young as nine years old were raped, she said. Pervin, who tried to kill herself four times, eventually escaped, with the help of other Yazidis. The interview aired on March 22.

If the U.S. Wanted To, It Could Help Free Thousands of Enslaved Yazidi Women in a Single Day

ISIS is trading and selling Yazidi Christian women and children in the slave market:

We were sold for $10 or $12. Who could accept that behaviour? Can God accept that?

It’s a shame to rape a woman, but when she is raped by 10 men… what is this?

They are animals, they are not humans.

“We’ve asked our jailers to shoot us dead, to kill us, but we are too valuable for them. They keep telling us that we are unbelievers because we are non-Muslims and that we are their property, like war booty. They say we are like goats bought at a market.”

Iraq Slave Markets Sell Women For $10 To Attract ISIS Recruits

Read more articles:

If the U.S. Wanted To, It Could Help Free Thousands of Enslaved Yazidi Women in a Single Day

Iraq Slave Markets Sell Women For $10 To Attract ISIS Recruits<

Iraq’s Yazidis: who they are and why the US is bombing ISIS to save them

Yazidi women are trafficked as sex slaves, abused and imprisoned

More than 1,000 women and children kidnapped by Isis. Yazidis in Iraq have made an emotional plea for West to help more than 1,000 kidnapped Yazidi women forced into ‘sex trade’.

“We’re a minority here and there’s no strong lobby to support us. We ask for support from those governments that care about human rights and humanity.”

Help the Yazidis:

more than 1,000 women and children kidnapped by Isis.

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ISIS Creates Humanitarian Catastrophe

Yazidi claim to have survived 72 genocides – by the Ottoman Turkish rulers of what is now Iraq, by Saddam Hussein and now by Islamic militants, have reduced the number of Yazidi from millions to an estimated 700,000.

Feared, villified and slaughtered for centuries, it is in many ways remarkable such a strong community of Yazidis still exists at all.
But now, with the Islamic State’s determination to wipe them out, they perhaps face their greatest test of all

humanitarian catastrophe

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