We Are Resilient: Ahmed Mohamed

Ahmed Mohamed    

Resilient Refugee             

Somalian-born Ahmed Mohamed is a security officer in Canada. True, it’s a stereotype that immigrants tend to fill security jobs, but to Ahmed, his work is a stable, respectable position that is helping him to build a safe new life in Canada just three years after arriving as a government-sponsored refugee.

We Are Resilient: Candace Marvel

Candace Marvel

Beautiful Determination

Talking to the young and vibrant Candace “Candy” Marvel, you might not guess that she spent 21 years of her life stateless, and five years living in a refugee camp before coming to Canada as a student refugee.

The 33-year-old beauty is S’gaw Karen, a minority ethnic group of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) that was persecuted by the governing military in the Southeast Asian country.

We Are Inspired: Ebraheem Abo-Korj

Ebraheem Abo-Korj

Inspired to Action

The arrival of 25,000 government-sponsored Syrian refugees to Canada between December 2016 and February 2016 raised much debate about whether it was the right thing to do, about the Syrians’ Islamic faith and the country’s ability to handle this influx of new immigrants. Most of the refugees also didn’t speak any English. So how would they integrate? Would they be happy to become Canadian?

We Are Inspired: Zhan-Zhan Ge

Zhan-Zhan Ge

One Awesome Kid

Zhan-Zhan Ge doesn’t remember much about his time in China; he was just two years old when his parents decided to immigrate to Canada. But the now 13-year-old understands that, “They moved here because they wanted me to live in a better environment.”

We Are Caring: David Dalley

David Dalley

Connecting People of Diverse Faiths in Surrey

Canadian-born David Dalley wants to help connect people of different faiths in Surrey. As co-founder of the Surrey Interfaith Council, David cares about bringing people together, and ensuring the community of Surrey — specifically his neighbourhood of Newton — where he’s lived for 14 years, is a welcoming and harmonious place to live for all.

We Are Strong: Monique Craigen

Monique Craigen

Strength in Identity

Monique Craigen didn’t know that she was of Ojibwe descent until she was a teenager. 

“Growing up people always asked me ‘what I was.’ They couldn’t figure out what my physical look represented. But I didn’t know how to answer that question,” say Monique, who was born in northern B.C.

“My grandmother had not wanted her grandchildren to know our truth because of the discrimination she faced. She felt like she was protecting us.”

We Are Strong: Troy Derrick

Troy Derrick

Skateboarder Constable

Upon meeting Troy Derrick, the first thing you might notice is the skateboard that’s been a permanent fixture in his hands since his early teens. You might also catch a glimpse of the skeleton Mountie tattoo on his arm.

That image is a popular skateboarding graphic, so it’s a bit of a coincidence — or perhaps serendipity — that Troy would one day become a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

We Are Ambitious: Rania Ataia

Rania Ataia         

Dynamic Dentist                   

The first thing non-Muslims might notice about Rania Ataia is her hijab — the head scarf traditionally worn by women of Muslim faith. Hijabs, often made of lovely colours and prints, aim to cover a woman’s hair for modesty for religious and cultural reasons; in Arabic, hijab means “cover.”

Rania says the hijab is “a part of my identity.”

We Are Ambitious: Wafa Al-Jabiri

Wafa Al-Jabiri

Entrepreneurial Mom        

You could call Wafa Al-Jabiri your typical Canadian hockey mom. She’s used to getting up in the early hours of the morning to take her daughters to hockey practice, probably with a steaming cup of coffee in her hand to keep warm and awake. She cheers from the sidelines at games as her kids skate up and down the ice at the Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex, and enjoys chatting with the other parents on her team. It’s so Canadian!

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