“Thank you to the Government of Canada for the opportunity to speak tonight in this great Parliament Building.
My name is Khaled. I arrived in Canada 2 years ago. I am now a manager at a Bridgehead Coffee House. I would like to tell you a bit about me. In Syria I was like a baby bird without feathers. I was threatened by everything outside my nest. My nest was destroyed by war, and intolerance, in Syria. I fell, but I didn’t hit the ground because I was helped by my Sponsor Canadian group. For me they are my Family. They are here tonight and I want everyone to know how much they helped me. They caught me and they helped my wings to grow and helped me to see life from a different view. They didn’t put me in a cage and make me change. They encouraged me to be myself.
Capital Rainbow Refuge gave me the opportunity to find success in my life in Canada. They taught me how to think not just about my right to be accepted but taught me to realize others also have rights. They gave me strength by giving me love, education and support. There is a great need for more organizations such as Capital Rainbow Refuge. I didn’t just escape from death, I escaped every obstacle that prevented me from living my life happily and peacefully. I am so grateful to be in Canada because I have found success and happiness.
As a future Canadian, I am proud to be a part of an open and accepting country and to live with such strong people who accept everyone. I am strong because Canadians are strong. Canadians have accepted me, not to change me, but to be a part of this colourful country. Every person needs help, and now Syria is crying for help. I now have the confidence to fly anywhere in my sky. Canadians have a bad winter, but they make it into a paradise. Syria had a paradise, but they make it hell.
I would like to say THANK YOU to the Government of Canada, Capital Rainbow Refuge, Adult High School, Bridgehead and to every Canadian for supporting me.”