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The Immigration Story of Mayse Al-Haboobi (Iraqi Refugee)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Date of Arrival: 
September 16 2009
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2014.110.1

Story Text: 

I immigrated with my family (my dad, mom, and two brothers), we all were thrilled and amazed by the green beautiful nature of Halifax upon the landing of the plane. It was the best day of our lives, our reasons for immigrating were many but mostly, a home! We were looking for a place to settle in a safe, friendly and peaceful place to call home, I'm glad that place was Canada for us. The process of immigration was done by my dad, I was young at the time and all I remember was my dad discussing immigrating to Canada with my mom and how much he loved what he read about Canada and explaining that it was perfect for our future to settle and work here. He filled some forms and he took us to take pictures for immigration, I remember my mom dressing up to look good in the picture, she said "I want to look pretty like a Canadian woman" , also I remember doing the medical tests that were required for the Canadian immigration.

The process at the airport was delightful, the first thing we did after the landing at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport was heading to the officer who was sitting on a table, I remember there was an electronic sign that said "welcome to Canada" in both English and French, I thought that was very interesting, it was my first time seeing French words! After that the officer told us to head to the immigration officers, we went there and there was an old nice lady who asked each one of us some basic questions, we answered them, at the end of the process I still remember her words she said "welcome home to Canada" I felt so happy, I finally had a home and that home was Canada!

Adjusting to life in Canada was a bit challenging in the first couple of months but I soon started meeting people and learning about the culture, going to university and being part of the community, it really didn't take much for me to feel at home and to develop.

I'm not a Canadian citizen yet, but I already feel like one, Canada is a great country, it saved me and my family from an unknown future, it provided everything we need to prosper, I will forever stay grateful for what Canada has done for us. It is truly a generous country. God bless you Canada!