A Syr­ian Man Finds Suc­cess in Canada

The Miracle - - Women -

At the height of the Syr­ian up­heaval in 2013, Taha Abadi wit­nessed the de­struc­tion of his home­town be­fore his eyes. Bul­let holes cov­ered the walls of schools and hos­pi­tals. The noise of the shoot­ings si­lenced the streets and the fall­ing of the bombs forced peo­ple to run for safety ev­ery few days. What the United Na­tions dubbed as ‘the great tragedy of our cen­tury’ was Taha’s re­al­ity though it all felt like a ter­ri­ble night­mare. Not a sin­gle day went by when Taha didn’t imag­ine the worst case sce­nario for his four kids. The throes of war forced him to move his young fam­ily to Jor­dan but mov­ing to a new coun­try didn’t come with­out chal­lenges. How was Taha go­ing to pay for rent and food? Taha wasn’t picky about what kind of work he is will­ing to do. He took up the first job that came his way so he could put food on the ta­ble. After many years of sheer strug­gle, things fi­nally took a turn for the bet­ter when Taha’s ap­pli­ca­tion to seek asy­lum in Canada was ac­cepted. When Taha first ar­rived in BC last year, he wasn’t sure if he should go back to school, get some sort of cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, learn English or look for floor­ing work, a trade he had years of ex­pe­ri­ence in. But he was sure of one thing and that was to be­come fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent within one year of im­mi­grat­ing to Canada.The Mus­lim Food Bank Com­mu­nity Ser­vices tasked case­worker Saalih Ab­dur­ra­heem in help­ing Taha nav­i­gate the Cana­dian job mar­ket. When Saalih first met Taha, he re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated his keen in­ter­est in be­ing able to pro­vide for his fam­ily him­self.“He in­sisted that he doesn’t want to go on wel­fare as­sis­tance,” Saalih re­calls. Saalih’s fa­mil­iar­ity with Syr­ian cul­ture helped him in cre­at­ing a trust­ing bond with Taha and his fam­ily. Saalih lived in Syria for fif­teen years be­fore he moved to Canada and knows all too much about what it’s like to be a refugee. He is among hun­dreds of thou­sands of dis­placed Pales­tini­ans who were forced to take refuge in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries such as Syria, Jor­dan and Le­banon.Saalih was de­ter­mined to help Taha not only se­cure a job but to also sup­port him over­come the chal­lenges that come with be­ing new­com­ers in Canada. “New­com­ers miss their fam­ily back home and go through what is called cul­tural shock,” Saalih ex­plains. “In the first few months, they feel that they are not go­ing to be able to adapt to fit in the new en­vi­ron­ment.” Saalih con­soled Taha by telling him that ev­ery new im­mi­grant to Canada goes through this pe­riod and that pa­tience is key to over­com­ing this dif­fi­cult phase. Saalih also un­der­stood that be­ing the bread­win­ner what Taha needed most was find­ing work. Saalih felt that Taha’s in­abil­ity to speak English would be an im­ped­i­ment to se­cur­ing a job but he didn’t give up. He taught Taha the ba­sics of how the job mar­ket here works and cre­ated a re­sume for him from scratch. He also en­cour­aged Taha to vol­un­teer so he would have some Cana­dian ex­pe­ri­ence to speak of. Hav­ing con­nec­tions in the lo­cal con­struc­tion in­dus­try also came in handy. Saalih re­ferred Taha to his friend, Zayn, who works in floor­ing. After just one day of Taha volunteering with Zayn, he was of­fered a job. Six month later, Saalih met Taha to get an up­date on how he is do­ing. Saalih was de­lighted to find out that Taha had se­cured a con­tract to do floor­ing for all six­teen storeys of an apart­ment build­ing. Taha didn’t have to tell Saalih how happy he was, he could see it in his eyes. “I am re­ally very, very happy for him,” Saalih said. He is quite amazed at the level of suc­cess Taha has achieved in such a short amount of time and cred­its Taha’s de­ter­mi­na­tion for it. Th­ese are real sto­ries where our vol­un­teers have an im­pact on mem­bers of our com­mu­nity help­ing them progress in their lives. In­shaAl­lah next week we will bring you an­other story. Please join us to have a pur­pose in your life to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of your broth­ers and sis­ters by com­ing to our events and reg­is­ter­ing as a vol­un­teer or do­nat­ing to your or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Mus­lim Food Bank and Com­mu­nity Ser­vices So­ci­ety (usu­ally re­ferred to as Mus­lim Food Bank) at www.mus­lim­food­bank.com/do­nate. Our email is con­tact mus­lim­food­bank.com andtele­phone num­ber is 1-866-824-2525.

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