Ahlan bear speaks in both Arabic and English to welcome Syrian children to Canada and teach them about their new home.


Ahlan is the first toy ever made specifically for refugees coming to Canada.

Developed in collaboration with language and resettlement experts, this little bear speaks over 60 unique pairs of sentences in English and Arabic. Useful sentences like “What is your name?” and “How are you?” plus Canadian touchstones like “I love hockey!” and "Let’s build a snowman!" give them a reference point to make them feel connected and at home.

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Ahlan turns an unfamiliar place into a familiar one.

Ahlan أهلاً
means “welcome”

It conveys the sentiment “You've come to stay with family,” and that's exactly how we want refugee children to feel when they arrive in Canada. Ahlan Bear is a new friend, a security blanket and a comfort to a child coming to Canada for the very first time under the worst of circumstances. It's a way of saying welcome home, you're safe.

“Ahlan Bear” comes from the Arabic word Ahlan, or Ahlan Wasahlan أهلاً وسهلاً‎ literally meaning “Hello” or “Welcome”. It comes from an old saying that shows hospitality to strangers.

Just like Ahlan, COSTI Immigrant Services helps refugees make the transition to Canada.

About Costi

Since 1952 COSTI Immigrant Services has provided newcomers with services to help them gain language skills, housing and entry into the workforce so they can succeed in all aspects of Canadian life. COSTI has over 350 staff members and over 300 volunteers serving newcomers out of 17 locations in the Toronto region. Find out more about COSTI here.

Canada has welcomed 32,737 Syrian refugees as of October 2016.

Help us give a friend to a child
that had to leave everything behind.