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One hundred thousand welcomes

Fram Dinshaw is a reporter for The News. He obtained his Canadian citizenship after immigrating from the U.K.
Fram Dinshaw is a reporter for The News. He obtained his Canadian citizenship after immigrating from the U.K. - SaltWire Network

Ciad Mile Failte. One hundred thousand welcomes.

To Fakher, Rima, Ayah and Bader Albarazi – welcome home.

We were delighted to welcome you all to Pictou County this week and see they joy on your faces as you stepped into your new Canadian home for the first time.

We will never forget the big smile on Bader’s face as he jumped onto his bed in his new room.

We hope that you keep smiling, as you are now safe among friends.

No longer are you refugees. You are now Nova Scotians and soon we hope you will become Canadian citizens.

Remember always the promise of Canada – if you work hard you will succeed – as have many immigrants and refugees before you.

Many of your new friends are also descended from refugees, Scots who fled political and religious persecution in Britain, just like many Syrians like yourselves today.

Take a walk down to Pictou Harbour and check out the Ship Hector. You’ll find yourselves in good company.

Not only that, you are now part of Canada’s story. Our story is one of hope and new opportunity that many other places on Earth are not blessed to have.

Here, you have the opportunity to go to college or university and find a job in any field you wish – be it a skilled trade or professional like a doctor, architect or engineer.

But don’t forget to play hard too! Go fishing on a lake, take a walk through our woods or explore Pictou County’s beaches.

Here, you have the world at your feet.

Eleven years ago, I came to Canada as a nervous 22-year-old on a student visa. My dream was to become a journalist in the world’s most beautiful country.

I’ve had my ups and downs over the years as I’m sure you will. Life in Canada may not always be easy – but it will always be doable.

I write this column today as a Canadian citizen. having lived in five provinces and set foot in another three.

I hope that you will one day explore your new home as I have and seize every opportunity you get.

Fakher, Rima, Bader and Ayah, never forget the great promise of Canada.

Truly, A Mari usque ad Mare.

From sea to sea.

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