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Majd Al Koud (13) has been promoted from grade seven at Walter Moberly Elementary School where he has attended grades 6 and 7. The school staff have worked hard to help Majd feel he belongs, even if he is not yet literate. Since he arrived in September 2018 with his widowed mother Lama and three siblings, Majd has experienced his first two years of formal schooling in a completely unknown language and culture. With his brother Ahmad, Majd has attended without fail, made friends, played on sports teams, and been part of the learning community of Moberly Elementary. Next year, he will attend the special Literacy Program at Tupper Secondary where his sisters have been going to school. In the photo, he is flanked by his grandfather, Nasridin Chebli and his grandmother, Fatmeh Abdulhaviz, who arrived in May 2019. 

Majd's mother, Lama Chebli, was not at home for Majd's photo op with his grade seven diploma because she was at her new job working in the kitchen at Livia Cafe at 1399 Commercial Drive, a family owned traditional Italian cafe & bakery beloved for its sourdough loaves and informal Italian food, now available for pick-up. (Pre-order at liviasweets.com) Lama is a tremendous worker and a committed team member, and loves all the people she works with, but she reported that she's very tired after a long day, especially on busy weekends.

Lama and her employers solved the overwork issue: Sedra (17) has started working with her mother on the weekends! This is Sedra's first job in Canada, which will improve her spoken English, add income, and build her self-confidence. Debbie and Lizzie Matheson dropped in for a visit on July 4th and to meet Lama's employers, Livia Lassam and Jordan Pires, who are 100% supportive of Lama and Sedra's success in the work force. In one photo you will see Livia with Lama at the take-out window.

All of Lama's four children will be back in school in September: Ahmad at Moberly, and Majd, Doha and Sedra at Tupper Secondary. Mary Lymburner and Debbie Matheson are tutoring them at their house as much as they can to boost the teens' literacy. Lama's brother Ward (26) is currently looking for work.

Onward they go!