Syrian refugee family of 11 sworn in as Canadian citizens at special ceremony in Calgary
CALGARY -- Like so many of their countrymen, the Altamky family fled war-torn Syria for a better life in Canada. All 11 of them escaped and have gradually resettled in Calgary.
Four years later, they are now proud Canadians.
The Altamkys joined a handful of people who were sworn in Tuesday morning at the Hangar Flight Museum during a special citizenship ceremony.
"Today was our ceremony and we were waiting four years and it finally came," said eight-year-old Lemar Altamky.
CTV News Calgary first interviewed the Altamky family in a documentary in 2017. Ammar and Basma Altamky have seven girls and two boys ranging in age from four to 20.
Ranim, the eldest child, is currently studying at Mount Royal University with the goal of becoming a doctor one day. She is grateful to be able to pursue her dream.
"It means a lot to be Canadian right now," said Ranim. "We are free, we are safe, we are Canadian and everything fine for us right now."
This is the second time the Institute for Canadian Citizenship has partnered with the Hangar Flight Museum for a swearing-in ceremony. A total of 47 people from 16 different countries took the oath.
"With this huge experience the citizens realize how important it is to be part of this country and what opportunities they have as a citizen now," said Marie Noelle Tudieshe, national program officer at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
Prior to the citizenship ceremony, all of the participants took part in a roundtable discussion to share what it means to be a Canadian.