The #WUSCSomeGoodNews initiative features stories of positivity and hope of people who are making a difference in Canada and around the world, particularly during this pandemic.
Meet Ammar Moussa, a Student Refugee Program (SRP) alumnus who recently received his Canadian citizenship through a virtual ceremony, and consistently finds ways to stay involved in his community. He tells us about his journey from his arrival to becoming a citizen in Canada.
Ammar arrived in Canada in 2016, and immediately joined the Local Committee at Dalhousie University. “It was an incredible experience, enriching and fulfilling. It was especially meaningful for me because I got to see what the resettlement process was like on both ends of the Student Refugee Program,” he tells us.
Upon graduating in 2018, Ammar continued his volunteer experience with WUSC as a member of the Alumni Advisory Team—a team of 12 SRP alumni that works to strengthen the SRP, and guide newcomer students to help facilitate a smooth integration to Canada. In 2019, he also helped found a Halifax-based support group as part of WUSC’s Refugee Support Network, which supported the arrival of a newcomer from Tanzania in November of 2019.
In 2019, Ammar also reached a personal milestone and was able to sponsor his family from Lebanon.
“It was a dream come true and a long-time coming reunion after 7 years of living thousands of kilometres apart. Having my family close and safe is something that was extremely far-fetched in the past. That day was surreal and my family and I were euphoric.”
That same year, he got married to his spouse whom he met when he first arrived in Canada. ‘’She was a volunteer at WUSC as well. I was extremely lucky to have met my wife when I did, and WUSC was how it happened’’ he says.
In 2020, Ammar reached yet another milestone. “I officially became a Canadian citizen! My ceremony was virtual, but that made it more [personal].” Ammar recognizes that he achieved this milestone while many people around the world, and in his home country of Syria, face challenges due to conflict and the pandemic.
“I acknowledge that by becoming a Canadian citizen, I became one of the lucky ones, and I hope, I truly do, that one day being Syrian will not be different from being Canadian [. . .] I am now a proud Syrian-Canadian and will forever be grateful for descending from a land so rich in history and culture, and for living in the true north strong and free.”
Ammar sees the value in volunteering with Local Committees because ‘’the impacts of it are in the form of actual people living the Canadian dream’’. ‘’I hope the SRP continues for many years, but I also hope that the need for such a program becomes a thing of the past one day, because all people everywhere are free and live with dignity and basic human rights’’ he adds.
Are you convinced that each and every one of us can contribute positively to the world everywhere? Listen to Ammar’s advice: ‘’be positive and follow your dreams. Refrain from passing judgments and give people the benefit of the doubt. Have faith in people and know that all of us are capable of extraordinary things.’’
If you are making a difference in your community, share your story, and connect with us on social media using the hashtag #WUSCSomeGoodNews.