If you haven’t seen this video yet on Youtube of an Ottawa-based choir singing the traditional Arabic song Tala’ al Badru’ Alayna (The Full Moon Rose Over Us), then you have to check it out.
Traditionally, this is believed by many Arabs to be a song originating from when Muslim refugees from Mecca fled to the city of Medina with Muhammad. And it certainly makes for a moving song when you think of images of Syrian refugees currently arriving in Canada over the next few weeks.
When I hear this and see those pictures of refugees arriving, I can’t help but think of good news! This is such good news that these people and families are receiving as they leave behind war, conflict, and oppression and come to Canada for a new beginning.
In a recent CBC article, Ghalia Bdiwe wrote about the various responses from various Arab countries to Canadians sponsoring Syrian refugees. People are talking about “the warmness of Canada” ( a little ironic ;)), and how Canadians have been “merciful and supportive” in this crisis.
Some Arab news outlets are praising how Canadians have fought “terrorphobia” in the wake of the Paris attacks, and still others have said, “You sang a song that is the most cherished to our hearts in a time when many countries of our own skin let us down.”
As we prepare to receive our own sponsored family through The First Mennonite Church, I think to myself what a privilege we have to give of what God has blessed us with; to reach out in peace, mercy, and love; and to bring good news to people just in time for Christmas. I love this church family!