Couple’s amazing sacrifice: Farzin Yousefian Wedding

Published: November 20, 2015

Couple’s amazing sacrifice: Farzin Yousefian Wedding, When it came to helping Syrian refugees, both Samanthan Jackson and Farzin Yousefian said “I do.”

The Toronto couple were planning to get married next March. They had sent out the invitations, picked out a venue – an art gallery in Parkdale – and decided on a caterer.

But in September, they contacted their friends and families and told them the wedding – as they knew it – was off.

They still got married – at an intimate, and inexpensive, ceremony at City Hall Oct. 9 – but all of the money that would have gone to their reception or their wedding gifts is now being used to sponsor a Syrian refugee family to come to Canada.


Samanthan Jackson and Farzin Yousefian pictured with Toronto mayor John Tory.

Everyone, from the caterers to their families, understood the decision, Jackson said.

“They were thrilled. Our friends and family were so supportive and so generous in their giving, it was amazing,” she said.

Jackson, a PhD student, works for Ryerson University’s Lifeline Syria Challenge and is sponsoring the family through that group.

“The money will be used for anything anyone would need in the first 12 months of settling in a new country, shelter, food, clothes and everything in between,” she said.

Jackson has read stories in the news about anti-refugee sentiment and recent hate crimes against Muslims, including the beating of a Toronto woman and the burning of a Peterborough mosque.

She hopes her wedding story sends the opposite message. If any Syrian families seeking to come to Canada read it, she hopes it says, “You’re welcome here.”


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