15 Syrian refugees graduate from unique food program at Algonquin College

CTVNews Ottawa - It's hard to imagine a group of grads looking happier than they did today.

Fifteen of them, all Syrians, all part of Algonquin College's first class of Culinary and Job Skills for Newcomers to Canada. When they stepped foot on Canadian soil several months ago, these Syrian refugees were embarking on new lives.

Now, they're embarking on new careers, embracing their country and a whole new way of life.

For Samir Massoud, this is a proud moment, as he dons his graduation gown.  It is the fulfillment of a dream that started almost exactly one year ago, when he and his family came to Canada from Syria.

“I came from Syria on July 26th,” he says, in surprisingly good English, “The situation there was terrible. Thanks to Canada, I’m safe, my family.  I feel great.”

It is great, too, for him to stand alongside 14 other Syrian refugees at the H building at Ottawa’s Algonquin College.  They are the first graduates of a new class at Algonquin for newcomers from Syria, in culinary and job skills.

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