Syrian refugee couple thrown surprise wedding reception by new friends and neighbours in Canada

Mohamad Al-Noury and Athar Farroukh were forced to flee their homes by bombing days after marrying in Syria

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 16 December 2015 09:40 GMT
Mohamad Al-Noury and Athar Farroukh were thrown a surprise wedding reception by local Canadians in Saskatoon on 6 December
Mohamad Al-Noury and Athar Farroukh were thrown a surprise wedding reception by local Canadians in Saskatoon on 6 December (Victoria Dinh/Twitter video)

Canadians have thrown a surprise wedding reception for a young Syrian couple who married just days before bombing forced them to flee their home.

Refugees Mohamad Al-Noury, 21, and Athar Farroukh, 23, had no photos of their wedding and lost almost all their possessions during their flight to Lebanon.

They now live in the city of Saskatoon, where they were resettled by the Canadian government, and are rebuilding their life together.

But when local people heard the story of their wedding, they came up with a surprise plan.

Eman Bare, a reporter for CBC News, had offered to take some photos after meeting the couple while researching a story, and put out an appeal on Facebook asking for help with an “improv wedding” the following day.

“I had intended on getting a few of my friends together for a bride/groom photo shoot,” she told Good magazine. “I was picturing something really small … maybe like 10 people and some tea.”

But she was stunned by the response. Soon local people had offered a cake, flowers, food, music and even the hire of a banquet hall given for free by a nearby hotel.

Videos caught Mr Al-Noury and Mrs Farroukh’s surprise as they walked into the room filled with friends, neighbours and well-wishers, who clapped and cheered before starting the celebrations.

“We’re blessed that we’re in Saskatoon. It’s a dream come true for us,” the bride said before cutting her cake, according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. “It’s a great feeling. I wish everyone could have the same experience.”

Her husband was overwhelmed, telling CBC: "I don't know how I can say thank you."

Canada’s recently-elected Liberal government has pledged to welcome 25,000 refugees from UN camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

More than 946 Syrians have arrived since the start of November and 10,000 are expected in total by the end of 2015.

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