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Let it snow: Syrian refugee in Gander looks forward to using his snowblower

Omar Alsyd Ali and his family arrived in Gander last year from Syria. He’d rather forget his first winter of shovelling mountains of snow, and looks forward to tackling this one with his pre-owned snowblower. It did not take him long to learn the controls when previous owner showed him how to operate it.
Omar Alsyd Ali and his family arrived in Gander last year from Syria. He’d rather forget his first winter of shovelling mountains of snow, and looks forward to tackling this one with his pre-owned snowblower. It did not take him long to learn the controls when previous owner showed him how to operate it. - Clarence Ngoh

Omar Alysd Ali looks forward to a snowy winter thanks to new snowblower

GANDER, NL –  Omar Alsyd Ali is looking forward to snow –  and lots of it – now that he has a snowblower to tackle the upcoming winter.

Alsyd Ali, a Syrian refugee, said his outlook was different last winter when he dreaded the thought of shovelling.

“Last year, I was so tired shovelling and shovelling. I worked from 4 to 11 at night and I see a meter of snow, and I can’t take the car the car inside. I would shovel for one to two hours. My back hurt,” said Alsyd Ali.

“Last year was so bad for snow.”

It sure was. Record breaking amounts of snow from back-to-back storms left Gander with more than 100 centimeters in April last year.

His manager pointed out that this much snowfall had not been seen for 20 years, and bantered with Alsyd Ali that his arrival brought all the snow.

Alsyd Ali recalls a couple of good Samaritans who came to his rescue to clear snow without prompting when it got too much.

“My neighbour came twice to help when I lived on Elizabeth Drive. Another time, another man, I don’t know who, but he lived far away, he came with his snowblower and cleared my driveway and my neighbours’.”

Shovelling and snow clearing are distant memories now for Alsyd Ali.

“Now that I bought my snowblower, I say to my god, ‘snow please, I need snow,” he said.

clarence.ngoh@ganderbeacon.ca

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