Mayssoun, Antoun, and their children immigrated to Canada in 2018. Originally from Syria, the family left their home country because of the civil war that has been tearing the country apart since 2011.
Their journey to Canada hasn’t been an easy one. Before landing as sponsored refugees, they lived in Lebanon for about two years, leaving behind not only their professions – Mayssoun was an accountant and Antoun a dentist – but also part of their family, Mayssoun’s sisters-in-law. The most difficult part of starting their new life in the Comox Valley has been learning a new language and finding a job. In Syria, both Mayssoun and Antoun were skilled professionals; in Canada it’s been difficult finding a job related to their qualifications.
If they could advise immigrants, they would suggest improving their English before coming to Canada. Despite the difficulties of creating a new life in a new country, Mayssoun and her family enjoy living in the Comox Valley and being in a country where there is no war, and where everyone has been kind and welcoming.
The Immigrant Welcome Centre assisted Mayssoun and Antoun with government forms, finding employment, and eventually hosted their Citizenship Oath.
“We are grateful to Canada! We are so happy to be Canadians now,” they said after taking their Citizenship Oath in November 2022.