Speaker:  Vince Klassen

I was sitting in a little Tim Horton’s, on 16th Ave.  Sitting across from me was a Syrian refugee.

After about 30 minutes of conversation, he said to me “You want a tip about loving Syrian people?  I’ll give you one for free.  Never do what you just did to me when you are talking with a Syrian family.”

I didn’t even understand what he was saying.  I had been polite to the point of formal (you know the way you feel when you are worried you are going to say something wrong, so you’re hyper-careful with what you say).  I had been curious about his story and of the many people he has helped.  Honoring the struggle he and his people had been through.

So what in the world had I done wrong?  Seriously, what??  If you’re anything like me, you don’t know the answer either.

Do you know how the Syrian culture and life experiences impact how they experience us?  If you had a conversation with a Syrian person on the street would you know how to behave so they feel safe and loved?

This Sunday, we are interviewing Sam Namora, a Syrian refugee and one of the key figures helping other Syrian refugees who come to Calgary.

Let’s not allow our ignorance of the differences between our cultures undermine our love anymore.

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