This is the first New Year's Avedis celebrates with family in four years - his brother has already relocated and they are together again. After a year of applying to migrate, he is one of the privately–sponsored migrants who have been relocated to Canada.
I left Aleppo, Syria for a job teaching English in a university in Saudi Arabia, using my MA degree in teaching English as a Foreign Language. After 3 years, I left for Lebanon in order to start my privately-sponsored refugee papers. In Beirut, I worked as a translator.
Interestingly enough, translating in Montréal–Trudeau Airport was the first paid Canadian job I got; and my first day at work was my 10th day in Canada. Being fluent in 4 languages, I work assisting the Canadian officials by translating for the arriving Syrians.
I look forward to living in a developed country where job opportunities make use of my education and experience. I'm also hopeful that I will find chances to practice my skills in singing as a soloist and also photography. I had vocal lessons in Aleppo and did some cover recordings. In addition, I have practiced portrait and landscape photography, which gave me a couple of assignments in fashion photography in Beirut.
A few days after arriving, I visited the Department of Education in Concordia University. I was ecstatic after being told I am qualified to apply for a PhD. I am also considering visiting McGill University, and will soon make up my mind on which university to apply to.
Life in Canada promises me values I hold dear: freedom of speech and conscience, multiculturalism, social justice and equality, just to mention a few. I feel somehow as if I was taken away from Canada when I was a child, and now I’ve come home again. I can't wait to be fully integrated in Canadian society, and am so happy I have already started.