Calgary volunteers help Muslim farmer after his hard work was targeted by vandals

CALGARY — A group of volunteers are helping a Muslim farmer rebuild after a series of incidents of vandalism on the land where he works.

Mohamed Eldaher tends to a vegetable farm just outside of Calgary.

This year, he says he’s been dealing with multiple incidents he believes may be connected to his race or religion. The Syrian immigrant says garbage is constantly dumped on his property and someone attempted to destroy his greenhouse with their vehicle.

But on Saturday, something happened that made him fear for the lives of his wife and children. Eldaher says he came to the plot to find his fence broken and tire tracks over parts of his crop.

“I’m very sad and very angry,” he told CTV News. “Why? What (did) I do?”

However, an outpouring of support from Calgarians this week has changed Eldaher’s outlook on the situation.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Many (are now) saying, ‘Mohamed, it’s not only you here. We are beside you.'”

Dozens of volunteers showed up to Eldaher’s farm on Saturday to help weed his property and to finish building a homemade greenhouse.

Strangers, neighbours and friends have also donated money to put up a new fence for Eldaher and to install security cameras.

He’s only been in Canada for five years, but the man who helped Eldaher get on his feet says he’s already a popular figure in the community.

“I really admire the gusto of people like Mohamed,” land owner Abdullah Chybli said. “He has a good attitude and is grateful in any situation.”

The co-founder of the Calgary Immigrant Support Society, which helped organize the weekend’s support, echoed Chybli.

“When something really bad happens, they always say counter that with something really big and good,” Saima Jamal said. “And so that’s what’s happening here. This is the really big and good thing.”

Anyone looking to financially help Eldaher can visit the Calgary Immigrant Support Society group on Facebook.

Volunteers will be on site Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. continuing to work.

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