Canada: Syrian farmer hopes to harvest a field of dreams in Alberta


Mohamed El Daher and his wife Nahiama work their backyard garden. Leah Hennel / Postmedia Network

When his family of five arrived in Calgary a year ago, El Daher wasted little time in plowing under the lawn in the backyard of his Ranchlands home, planting vegetables among the furrows.

Bill Kaufmann
Calgary Herald
August 1, 2017


The Syrian Refugees Support Group Calgary connected him to Abdullah Chybli, whose parents hail from Lebanon and Syria. Chybli has lent El Daher 1.2 hectares of farm land northeast of the city, so that El Daher can grow a firmer financial footing.

El Daher’s enthusiasm for farming seemed genuine and the farm land seemed fertile ground to help a refugee adapt and contribute, said Chybli.

“For me, it’s like a personal commitment to bring as many newcomers into the economy as possible,” he says.

El Daher, 39, has already purchased a small, decades-old tractor to work what’s become a field of dreams for the family that fled its home in the city of Hama shortly after the Syrian war began.

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