A Refugee Claimant’s Story: Taha & Family

If I told you, a successful restaurant manager, married to an inspirational teacher, with four healthy children, that you’d be unemployed one day, would you believe me? Maybe. What if I told you that there will come a day when you would be broke to the point that your children would ask you for a few dollars to buy a drink or a chocolate bar, and you would search your pants pocket to only find the remains of an old tissue paper?

Would you believe me if I told you that one day you would have to shower with your undergarments on, so that all the other men showering around you do not see you naked?

Would you believe me if I told you that you’d be called names, pushed around from shelter to shelter, and spoken to in a language that you’ve never fathomed before?

Taha Malek, a refugee claimant from Yemen, who worked as a successful restaurant manager, who was married to a successful teacher, who had four healthy children, would not have believed it either.

Taha arrived to Canada in 2015 with his wife and only three of his children. His fourth child was shot and buried in the remains of Yemeni grounds. Taha, alongside mourning the loss of his child, faced the responsibility to now seek integration in a foreign country. While surviving on welfare for refugee claimants, which covered half of his family’s expenses, and gathering food from local food banks, he looked for work in Quebec. From one masjid to another, from an Arabic-speaking community organization to another, someone eventually referred him to National Zakat Foundation.

He called our Foundation one day, telling us that he is currently in a shelter in Toronto, in hopes to find more employment opportunities, since he knew some words in English, but zero French. He told his caseworker that he showered with his undergarments in a public bathroom at the shelter, survived on cooked vegetables served at the shelter, and ventured out every morning to apply for work. NZF reviewed all his family’s documents including their bank statements and proof of governmental income and decided to support the family with food gift cards to enable them to get the proper nutrition they need and to give some time to Taha to find employment. NZF also referred him to some employment agencies and hiring companies. He has been invited to interviews in labour work, in hopes to find employment in shaa Allah, while attending English school to improve his language.

Would you believe me if I told you that you will become unemployed, financially broke, lose one of your children, sleep apart from the rest of your children in a shelter, walk from one place to another to submit your resume, but that you would still be able to smile, sleep, and pray?

Because of Allah’s greatness first, then all the efforts of NZF employees, donors, and supporters, Taha and his family are able to still smile, sleep, and pray.

وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّـهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا ۚ كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٦﴾ سورة هود

There is not a creature that moves on the earth whose nourishment is not provided by God, whose place of sojourning and depositing is not known to Him. All things conform to a manifest law. [Qur’an 11:6]

Warm Regards,
Sara Moselhy l Senior Caseworker at NZF

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National Zakat Foundation

PO Box 12051 Creditview
Mississauga, ON
L5C 4R7