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“When I first heard I was going to Canada, I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream coming true. A chance for a new life! I was laughing and crying at the same time. I can’t possibly express how grateful I am to the Canadian people to allow me to come to Toronto.
“Back in Beirut, I was living in a two-bedroom apartment with 25 other people. There was hardly any privacy, and life was too hard. My parents are still in Damascus but they wanted me to leave so I could escape the war and find a better future for myself. We have distant cousins in Toronto already, so when we heard we could be reunited as part of this resettlement programme, we were all so happy.
“In Damascus, I studied law. It’s my dream to become a lawyer. But in the last year of my education, I had to drop out because my university was too close to the fighting. It broke my heart as I have a real passion for law. I’m really looking forward to resuming my studies in Canada once my English improves.
“People here are so welcoming, and I’m sure I will find support. I heard there will be free English lessons and I can’t wait to start. I’d like to study immigration law and maybe help people who are migrants, like myself.
"It will be difficult to settle in at first, especially in the middle of winter, but I’m happy that I have family in Toronto already meeting me at the airport, and a community there to sponsor me and help me get used to life in Canada.”