It’s so Canada: Opening our hearts to others

Times Colonist - The tough thing about observing Ramadan in a northern country: You can’t eat or drink until sunset, but sunset isn’t until 9:19 p.m. today.

That’s an hour and half later than back in Syria.

No problem, say Osama and Hanadi Shelleh. Fasting here is easy. It’s cooler in Victoria. When you do turn on the tap, you know water will flow out. There’s electricity, not like the dark days when Hanadi had to cook outside over an open fire — that is, when she could find food.

Most of all, Canada is safe.

The biggest surprise for the Shellehs? How much support they found here. How welcoming Canadians have been. How diverse it is, and how respectful people are of each other’s beliefs. Maybe they make us sound better than we really are. Or maybe they got it right.