My first Prince Edward Island winter
My family—me, my wife and our four young children—fled Syria and came to Canada as refugees in December 2017. In Syria, I’d worked as a chef and a fitness trainer. My physical strength couldn’t save me from what I encountered when I arrived in Charlottetown, P.E.I.: I was scared of how cold it was! Going outside felt like a feat each time I did it. But I knew I had to get acclimated, so I went for walks.
We took our kids for strolls in the park, and along the Charlottetown harbour. I loved to watch the ice flow by on the water—a sight you never see in the Middle East. Walking also let me experience the stillness and quiet that descends after a snowfall. That was a new type of peacefulness and calm that I came to appreciate.
Making friends took some time. I never got into winter sports, but I did join an indoor soccer club with a friend, where I made new connections. I’m no longer scared of winter—the season offered my family a peaceful welcome at a time we needed it.
Check out this funny story about one Canadian’s first Toronto winter.