Baladi - Media
As excitement over the World Cup shows how much soccer is the world's game, a program in Winnipeg is demonstrating just how important it is for refugee children trying to make a new life in Canada.
"Love, love soccer," says Fatma Cuhadar, a Syrian refugee living in Winnipeg.
She and her family are gathered around their TV, watching World Cup highlights.
"Fun, so much fun, exciting," says her 10-year-old son, Ahmed El Ahmar.
"I'm good at soccer and I have friends there," adds his brother Muhammed, 11.
The boys have played soccer since they could walk, starting when they lived in Aleppo, Syria.
But for Ahmed, it's more of a challenge.
"I was in Syria and I wake my brother up. I say, 'Let's go play soccer outside,' and then we went outside, a bomb came down and fell on the wall and … then big rocks were coming and then my leg got caught," he recalls.
Ahmed lost his left leg. "I was so sad and mad," he says.
It's one of the reasons the family fled their home.
"My house is bombed. My city is Aleppo. And my son lost leg," Cuhadar says.
In May 2014, the family went to a refugee camp in Turkey. They came to Canada as part of the federal government's commitment to resettle more than 25,000 Syrian refugees between late 2015 and early 2016.
Shortly after arriving in Winnipeg, Ahmed got a prosthetic leg. Two, actually — one for everyday and one for sports.
Now, he plays soccer every week at the Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy.
"Even though he has a prosthetic leg, he's one of our most hardest workers here and he always comes out with a smile on his face," says Andrew Kliment, one of the coaches.
Source: CBC News