Their apartment is strikingly bare, but Shikh Omar Jalal, his wife, Eman Aarabi, and their five children feel comfortable in their new home on Donald Street. They’re nestled among about 400 other Syrian refugees who have recently moved into two apartment towers just north of St. Laurent shopping centre.

They’ve made friends, and get regular news from back home. The only drawback to life on Donald Street is, they admit, it might be difficult to learn English when surrounded by Arab speakers. “No English around!” says a laughing Aarabi, whose bubbly laughter is never far from the surface.

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