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From Rothesay to Turkey

Run for Noor aims to help bring young refugee to community

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
March 17, 2017

ROTHESAY, N.B. – Noor Ogli won’t be in Rothesay, N.B. on April 2, but she will be on the minds of everyone taking part in a fundraiser for her there.
The Run for Noor will take place with the goal to raise money to bring the young Syrian law student to live in the New Brunswick community, after a bombing left her disabled and unable to complete her studies in her home country.
Daryl Steeves found out about Ogli through Zoe Caddell, a local girl who traveled to Europe to help with the Syrian refugee crisis.

Zoe Caddell (left), with Noor Ogli and their friend Parissa.

Photo courtesy of Daryl Steeves

“She’s been going to two or three different hotspots there,” explained Steeves. “She was in Greece for awhile, and she was in Turkey, which is where she met up with this young lady named Noor.”
Ogli had been attending law school in Damascus, and was almost finished her studies at the time of the bombing, which killed many of her fellow students. She managed to get out of the country into Turkey, where she met up with Caddell, and told her of her dream to come to Canada, get healthy again and become a lawyer.
Caddell contacted a local church in New Brunswick to seek help. The church agreed to sponsor Ogli, if some money could be raised for the cause, and a trust fund was set up to help.
Steeves, who read about the story on Facebook. has long been involved with running, coaches it and writes a column about it for the local newspaper. Caddell was when of his students when he served as an unofficial physical education teacher at her elementary school.
“I knew Zoe when she was a little girl, and I guess I took some neighbourhood pride in a local kid doing well,” he said. ”So I contacted her and said, ‘What if we did a run and put all the proceeds to the Bring Noor Here campaign?’ She was thrilled.”
The next step was to contact Caddell’s former school, the Kennebecasis Park Elementary School, which agreed to host the event.
Although Caddell is still in Europe, she will be back in time for the run, and will provide the welcome and introduction, according to Steeves.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to arrange to Skype with Noor,” he said. “It’s pretty tough to guarantee that because of the nature of her life right now, but we’re going to try and see if we can make it happen. At the very least we can exchange some messages.”
The 5K run takes place in a suburban community of about 350 families, fairly flat with some rolling hills. It consists of about a loop and a half on the peninsula, with some nice glimpses of the Kennebecasis River.
A shortened 2K version will be available for children, and walkers are also welcome to take part. Snacks will be provided afterwards. Donations will also be accepted from non-runners.
While Steeves has no particular goal amount in mind, he said it would be nice of several hundred dollars could be raised from the event. Every cent earned will go directly to the cause. One of the main goals of the event is to raise awareness, so as to assist with future fundraising efforts.
“The goal is to bring her here, and my ultimate goal is to someday see her be a lawyer,” he said. “When we bring people here, sometimes I think we do it for altruistic reasons because they need help, but sometimes we also do it to build our own community. She has the potential to really be a strong asset for us and make us richer. We’re doing something for her now, but I think she’ll be doing something for us eventually.”
For more information on the Run for Noor, visit here .