Three weeks after they began their new life in Canada, the first family of Syrian refugees to come to Sudbury will soon be reunited with a grandfather they were forced to leave behind in Lebanon.
In an email Wednesday, Nilgiri Pearson, co-ordinator of Lifeline Sudbury, said the Quarquoz family expects their grandfather to arrive Sunday.
“(He) has been medically cleared to fly and is scheduled to arrive in Canada on Saturday, and in Sudbury on Sunday,” Pearson said. “Given our experience of the last few weeks this is not a guarantee, but it is encouraging.”
The grandfather, who is 80, was supposed to travel with the family when they left a refugee camp in Lebanon and arrived in Sudbury on New Year's Eve. But for some reason, he wasn't issued the same travel documents that rest of the family received from the Canadian government.
That issue was worked out and he was supposed to arrive Jan. 10, but unspecified medical issues prevented him from boarding the plane.
When the family arrived in Sudbury, they expressed a mix of happiness to be here and sadness they had to leave their grandfather behind. The father told reporters it was the family's most pressing concern.
"The first thing he wants is his dad to come here," said Abdul Hak Dabliz, Imam of the Sudbury Mosque, who acted as the translator for the family first's media interview.
If all goes according to plan, he should get his wish Sunday.