MScOT research project featured in The Varsity

Adaptation and resilience: What Syrian refugees experienced when they arrived in Canada

New U of T study says occupational roles shaped refugee experiences

The Syrian Civil War has been one of the major world events of the past decade, resulting in millions of deaths and mass destruction, in addition to creating one of the biggest refugee crises in recent history. Canada in particular has received tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. The website for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that “Canada resettled more than 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016.” As of October 31, 2020, that number currently sits at 44,620 resettled refugees in total.

As big as that number seems, it is only a tiny fraction of the total number of refugees. About 13 million people have been displaced to places within and outside of Syria — more than half of Syria’s population.

In a recent U of T study titled Exploring occupational transitions of Syrian refugee youth to Canada, occupational therapists Sumaira Khan and Zahra Kanji — alongside their co-writers Katherine Stewart (a former instructor in the MScOT program) and Prof. Jane Davis — explored the experiences of Syrian refugee youth throughout their migration journey to Canada and assess their occupational transitions — that is, changes in their daily activities and social roles — as a result of their resettlement to Canada.

Read the full article by The Varsity’s Science Editor Khatchig Anteblian, published October 24, 2021.