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Halifax comes together to mourn the Barho children (10 photos)

The community gathering, organized by Halifax Regional Municipality, drew a few hundred people to Grand Parade on a cold Wednesday night
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Haligonians bundled up and came together to mourn the seven Barho children who died in a house fire early Tuesday morning.

Their father, Ebraheim, remains in hospital in critical condition. Their mother, Kawthar, was also taken to hospital with less serious injuries.

The community gathering, organized by Halifax Regional Municipality, drew a hundreds to Grand Parade on a cold Wednesday night.

The Hants East Assisting Refugees Team Society (HEART Society) sponsored the Barho family to bring them to Canada in 2017 from Syria.

The organization's Natalie Horne was close to the family. She said a few words about each child, allowing the crowd -- many of whom never had the chance to meet the Barhos -- to get an idea of each of their personalities.

She said 15-year-old Ahmad had a great sense of humour, and like most teen boys, really liked girls.

Twelve-year-old Rola was described as a nurturer who took care of her younger siblings.

"She was a little mother to all of the children," Horne said through tears. "She excelled academically and wanted so much to do well in school."

Mohamad, 10, was athletic kid with a kind heart and a warm smile.

"Ola loved to dance. One of her favourites was Baby Shark," said Horne of the 8-year-old who loved to play.

Four-year-old Hala was described as a little girl with a big personality.

"She was the boss of the family, even though she may have been one of the smallest."

Rana was a 3-year-old girl with a sweet disposition, beautiful eyes and adorable dimples.

The youngest Barho child, Abdullah​​​​​​, was only 3-months-old. He was described as a sweet baby.

"Before leaving the hospital we had asked Kawthar if there was anything she'd like us to share, and she wanted to thank you all for standing with her this night," Horne told the crowd.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency diversity and community liaison officer, Ali Duale, said it wasn't just Halifax and Canada in mourning. 

"It has become an international tragedy."

Duale met with Kawthar, and said the only thing that could come close to replacing her children, would be the opportunity to see her parents.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in attendance, Duale urged the federal government to help bring Kawthar's family to Canada as soon as possible.

Trudeau didn't speak to the crowd, staying a silent member of the audience, however Halifax MP Andy Fillmore addressed the matter when it was his turn to step up to the microphone.

"I want you to know I am working with Canada's Minister of Immigration to do everything we can to bring the family members to Halifax as quickly as we can to support this family," Fillmore said.

Pat O'Brien came to Grand Parade to show his support.

"It's an absolute tragedy," he said. "I wanted just to do a something. By showing up, it just kind of shows we care for people."

Brooke Lewis is a mother of three and brought her eldest child, 8-year-old Weston, to the gathering.

"He said we need to do everything we can to show support," she said.

"It's important to stand together as a community, also to show our children humanity, kindness and to support each other. It's important that we all come together at a time like this."




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Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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