Meet Khaled Alhaj Hamoud.
“I was born in Syria. In every life there is a nice part, a good part. I cannot say all is good. My family life, I was very happy there. I love them and they love me and we had a lot of exciting times. I had enough things to make me happy. We had a good life because we worked hard. Then the war started. I came to Canada on February 11th, 2015. I left Syria not because I was worried I would die, because you’re going to die anywhere you go. I left Syria because I was looking for people I belong to. The society here, I feel like I am a part of it. The life here, they don’t bother you, they don’t hurt you. If you smile here, everyone smiles back. Since I arrived in Canada, I haven’t had any bad experience, and especially in my neighbourhood. Every day I love this country more than the day before, because of people. I have great people around me. I have my company I work for, the group who sponsored me, and they are all a very important part of my life. I’m a very social person. When I walk on the street, I like to see people happy. I like to be connected. I feel very lucky to be associated with Bridgehead, and I feel like I am part of this community.
“I had a great experience with the group who sponsored me to come here, and now I am sponsoring another family from Syria. I had a great experience coming here and with my work, and some people out there need help, an opportunity to find a better life. It doesn’t mean Syria is bad. It’s good for some people but not so good for others, which is the same as in many other countries. However, there is war in Syria and there is a risk to people. These people are a couple and they deserve to live a better life and to start a new life. I want them to feel what I felt before. Every day I talk to them about the people around me. Sure there are bad people, but those around me, I love them. People here don’t judge you. In Canada, you may hear bad things about Syria, but in Syria you can hear bad things about Canada, but when you experience it, you see something different. Sometimes you hear about racism here but I have been here four years and a few months and I haven’t had any bad experiences. Everybody is welcoming, everybody is warm, and everybody gives me a lot of love. I hope they get to come soon. Now Canada is my country. I want to help my society, to let others know we are the best country in the world and we are moving forward. We learn to love others, different colours, different skin, and different cultures, and we all live the same. Now I am here and I am happy. Canada is my country.” Collected by Ellen Bond
Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our collection of humans right here.
* This feature is sponsored in part by Lorenzo Bar and Grill.