Monday 17 June 2019

Syrian family prove to be GAA naturals

Mustafa al-Sulaiman at his first Cúl Camp with Amy
Kavanagh of St Patrick’s GAA Club.
Mustafa al-Sulaiman at his first Cúl Camp with Amy Kavanagh of St Patrick’s GAA Club.
Aboudi al-Sulaiman at the Cúl Camp with Garrett O’Reilly.

Myles Buchanan

A family who fled war-torn Syria are settling into Wicklow life, with two of the children taking part in the Cul Camp at St Patrick's GAA Club this week.

Wicklow Syria Appeal worked closely with Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre based in Cork, to develop a pilot community sponsorship project to sponsor al-Sulaiman family to come live in Wicklow town.

The family consist of Khalid and Ilham and their seven children.

Mohammed (13), Mustafa (7) and Aboudi (5) took part in a two week soccer camp at no charge, with Mohamed enjoying it so much he decided to stay on for a third week.

This week Mustafa and Aboudi tried their hand at GAA for the first time as they attended a Cul Camp run by St Patrick's GAA Club and immediately proved to be naturals at Gaelic football.

Eddie Leonard of St Patrick's GAA Club said: 'We were delighted to see them attend. They started on Monday and took to football like ducks to water. It's great to see them playing with the other kids and sitting and all having their lunch together. At first we thought they might be a bit shy but that wasn't the case at all. It's a great way to help integrate them into the community and children don't see any barriers. The al-Sulaimans have been getting on great with everyone.'

The youngest female members of the family have also been enjoying the summer with Fatima (10) and Doha (15) both taking part in an art camp taking place in the Dominican.

Wicklow People