Now he is upgrading his education and learning English at the Yukon College in preparation to study pharmacy. He concentrates to force his hand write left to right, which is opposite to Arabic, as he writes out the names of his family.
At school, it’s impossible to overlook Hasan’s notoriety. “We’re famous now.” He shifts in his chair.
Aside from studying, he and Tareef explored more fishing lakes than they can remember. And they tried ice fishing.
“I’ve never been so cold.” Hasan shivers.
A sourdough now, Hasan’s ready to build a fire for the families of his uncles, one on his mother’s side, one on his father’s, who will arrive in the coming months.
If there’s one thing Hasan would like to tell people, it’s that media stereotypes of Arabs, Islam and Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism.
“There are good and bad people of every group, but the media only shows a minority of a minority. In reality, the sayings of our prophets and our books are of a religion of peace.”
A fundraiser is being held on Saturday, Feb. 4 to support bringing Hassan Arafat’s uncles to Whitehorse. The Yukon Cares Latin Dance Night fundraiser takes place at 8 p.m. at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.