"I think that facing death changes people. Which is what happened with me." Mohammed Alsaleh was a young medical student in Syria, dreaming of one day treating patients with cancer. Under the Assad regime he was arrested three times, held in 5 different detention centers, and brutally tortured for 120 days before being released. In 2014 he was granted asylum in Canada where he began to rebuild his life. Now, the former medical student counsels newly-arrived Syrian refugee families with the same Vancouver-based NGO that helped his own resettlement. Like him, these families have left beloved ones behind and struggle with the pain and uncertainty of separation even as they try to rebuild their lives. Mohammed lives in hope that his family will one day be reunited in Canada. This short film captures not just his story, but through it, the story of thousands of displaced Syrians whose strength and humanity in the face of unspeakable horrors, has moved hearts all over the world.


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  • Gowtham

    Its great to see Canada in full support of Refugees. Hope Mohammed gets united with his family at the earliest.

  • Karen Lynch

    The courage of this young man, and his heartfelt determination to help other refugees begin their new lives here in Canada is inspirational. May he and his family soon be reunited here. May there soon be peace and security in Syria so that rebuilding can happen and all may live in safety there once more. May we in Canada continue to welcome and support all who come to our shores seeking refuge.

  • Paul Hock

    You are doing wonderful work and we will look into ways that we can help and act.

  • Jody Blackwell

    Mohammed, Blessings on you, your family and fellow Syrians. We are grieving with you for your country and for the loss of the life you would have chosen, but so grateful and inspired that you are doing such important work to help other Syrian refugee families. May you be safely reunited with your family in Canada soon, and may the Syrian people one day rebuild in peace, healing and hope. Thank you to everybody who worked on this amazing film.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Thank you for your courage and heart and tenacity to keep going. I am hopeful my country will better understand the sacrifices refugees make and the need to open borders and build bridges not walls. Hugs from my heart to yours, kristin

  • FRAN

    What inspired me is the heartbreaking honesty, the incredible determination and profound sense of service offered as gift and response to the acceptance and hospitality received—and the freedom Mohammed is now enjoying. I would hope all free nations would offer asylum and know the reward of being human and humane to others.

  • Raju

    A heart breaking and touching story of a very courageous young man, and his passion for reaching out to the refugees and providing all the help they need in their resettlement in a place so far away from their own country. It is really great that CANADA is showing the true spirit of fellowship and love for all by welcoming the Syrian refugees, who are just looking for some security and peace in their lives. I wish more countries follow the path taken by Canada in ameliorating the sufferings of such people.

  • Paula Santos

    Touching, inspiring, peaceful in such a troubled situation. And there is still hope. May the Syrian people find peace, safety and freedom soon.

  • Lynda

    To all of you, SALUTE! Salute for this tender video that has opened me more than anything else has about the Syrian people. SALUTE to Canada for opening your doors to as many as you have. SALUTE to the good work Mohammed is doing to bridge the gap for refugees. Thank you for bringing home the human side of this crisis.

  • RZ

    If there has anything I can help, please contact me.

  • Sherry

    What a beautiful heart you have, Mohammed. I hope your family will join you soon.

  • Lora Krall

    Mohammed, you may not have MD after your name but you are a doctor in every sense of the word. The best are always the ones who know the suffering of others. I know you will be with your family soon. Many blessings...

  • Kani

    This is a beautiful video full of hope and compassion after the horrors of war and destruction.

  • Susanna

    Thank you Mohammed for sharing your story. You are an inspiration. I pray that your family will soon be able to join you. You are a light in this world.

  • Laura

    Thank you for your daily work, Mohammed, and for your great heart. I can see that you were raised with love and true respect for the humanity of others, no matter if their belief systems may be different from your own. My greetings to your family also; I will add you and them to my prayers. My heart goes out to you and to all Syrians--all refugees-- who are simply trying to find safety and basic human needs for their families. How I wish that my own country would find its moral will to reach out and help. I will do what I can as an individual, and will spread the word through the circles of people that I touch. --Laura

  • Ganeema

    This young man's story is so profoundly moving and inspiring. In telling his story Canada stand out as an example to all humanity by embracing people who are crying out for a safe sanctuary and showing the world that we are one. Thank you Mohammed for sharing your story which is one of hope and love

  • Sundi

    Mohammed is a true hero, working to help others when he could have easily settled into bitterness. I hope and pray that all of these displaced, honest, good people can find asylum. I only wish my own country, which is largely responsible for all this suffering, had the ethical and moral will to to open its doors to them. Best of luck to Mohammed in getting his own family to Canada and in helping as many people as he can.

  • Antonio j

    I am grateful for the warmth of the Canadian government and citizens. This video was very moving and has reached the depths of my heart. Not sure whether this will be possible or not but I would like to personally reach out to Mohammed. Please share my email with him, if at all possible! One planet, one human race.....we are ALL connected!!! THANK YOU.....antonio

  • mariette

    the resilience and faith of the Syrian people. I am proud to be Canadian and that Canada is helping refugees.

  • Lyn

    An amazing young man doing such profoundly loving work. May all refugees here find peace and safety in Canada, a country they can call home, even as their heart aches for those left behind. Hoping for a day when a loving humanity is embraced in all places by all people.

  • Judy

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am so saddened by the cruelty of some people, and heart warmed by the kindness and generosity of others! I want to be a safe and loving place for everyone. We are all connected, and want and deserve the same basic liberties in life. Thank you, for sharing this. I hope it inspires more of us to reach out and be there for one another, no matter where or whom we are.

  • Breannah

    Wow! What an awesome heart renching shorty! Thank you Canada for helping these refugees! Let the love shine... and my best to all!❤️

  • Rev. Carole

    Told with such simplicity and directness, this young man's story - and the miracle of his survival - should be heard as widely as possible. He speaks for not only Syrians but universal human values. Bravo! May his life continue long and his good work prosper.

  • Rosemary Rawlins

    "How beautiful it is to offer people a place to call home." I am so sorry for your loss, the loss of your country and the suffering you endured. You are making the world a better place, and I'm trying, like you, to help Americans understand that we must accept more refugees with open arms to create a better country and world where everyone feels at peace. Thank you for your work, your open heart and refusal to react to violence with bitterness. You are an inspiration to us all. And thank you, Canada! We need more countries like you.

  • Malu Canziani


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  • Over 39,600 Syrian refugees have been welcomed to Canada. Learn more about their stories and the programs available to them.
  • Global Citizen offers this list of 15 ways you can help Syrian Refugees NOW.
  • Make time to connect with someone who comes from a different background and culture than you do. Listen to their story and reflect on how it touches yours.

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