Canadian couple cancels wedding to sponsor Syrian refugees

Sometimes an act of kindness goes a long way. Especially these days when it’s getting more and more difficult to turn on the news and hear something positive. The devastating events in Paris, Beirut, and all around the world have left many questions unanswered and many hearts broken. A heart wrenching quote by Warsan Shire was making the rounds on social media the night of the Paris attacks. It was touching and emotional and beautiful all at the same time.


During times like this it’s important to stay united. To not let those who wish to cause pain and destruction win by dividing us. As news broke out about the terrorist attacks in Paris, the refugee crisis was pushed at the forefront of the political agenda once again. A little while before, a picture of a drowned little boy washed up on a Turkish beach sent shockwaves. Unlike how this picture caused a huge push towards opening borders, the attacks in Paris made a case for why they should stay shut.

Refugees are running from the same people we fear. For a Toronto couple, Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian, the photo of the little boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on the beach was a call to action. Previous to this, they were planning an extravagant wedding. With a venue booked, a caterer hired, and their guest list finalized, the couple was well on their way to organizing the wedding of their dreams.

Farzin Yousefian and Samantha Jackson Credit: JIM MARTIN

Farzin Yousefian and Samantha Jackson

Your wedding day is the most important day of your life. It’s a day that you will always remember. It’s a day that many brides dreamed up when they were little girls. For this couple, they couldn’t go through with their lavish plans knowing there were thousands upon thousands of refugees in need. They cancelled their plans, got married at Toronto’s City Hall last month and decided to donate the money for their wedding on sponsoring a Syrian refugee family to Canada.

“We thought this really has to be an opportunity for us to really use our wedding as a platform, as a way to make a difference alongside our friends and family in what has obviously become an absolutely outstanding humanitarian crisis,” Jackson told CBC News.

The couple also asked their friends and family to donate to the cause instead of giving them gifts. According to CBC News, the couple has raised $17,500 of the $27,000 needed to sponsor the family of four.

There is nothing better than an open heart and lending a hand to those in needs. Remember:

“Tragedy cannot be the end of our lives. We cannot allow it to control and defeat us.” (Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish)


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