Vetted by the United Nations and screened by Canadian Immigration authorities, refugees of the long conflict in Syria are finally being given the opportunity to look forward at the glorious prospect of first-world problems they will face in their new lives in Kingston.
“We have been given information about our host cities,” remarked a mother of three bound for air transport. “and from what I’m reading, I can’t wait to embrace all the petty and menial arguments that seem to make life unbearable for those living there. It’s going to be wonderful!”
When pressed, she elaborated one some of her favourite items.
“I understand that retail vacancy is a problem, with empty store-fronts and vacated property. But at home, often this was because the family had fled for safety. Perhaps a racketeering ring was demanding safety payment, or the risk of bombing was too great, but here in Kingston it seems people just leave if the rent is too high.”
Her son, nearly 15, remarked on some geography he’d learned.
“I understand your city is only accessible from the east via two small bridges,” he explained. “When I learned this I assumed it was for some kind of strategic advantage in case of invasion. However, I now know that this is just because the discussions about further bridges have been ongoing for nearly 50 years. how remarkable!”
While the fatigue of travel has hardened their spirits, they also expressed sympathy that some problems were truly universal.
“I understand you also face the chaos and violence of student uprising,” the woman offered. “We have known this trouble for many years, since to so-called ‘Arab spring’ and I can only hope, as I do for our own students, that yours will find the justice and freedom they are fighting for.”