From Leela Pathiyal
In this episode, we spoke to Ali Adwan, who shared their experience immigrating to Canada. Ali’s mother had made the decision to leave with Ali and his brothers from Jordan due to a divorce from their father, and the support they would receive from his mother's family, who was located in Canada. At first, they had relocated to Virginia, USA, but eventually decided to make Canada their home. Although Canada is viewed as “the elite of the elite,” he did confront numerous barriers while settling. Between the various weekend travels to sign papers and talk to lawyers, the limited financial means to participate in extracurricular activities, and the numerous teachers stating how difficult university was— it was difficult for Ali to find a sense of belonging. Ali also expressed that he and his mother often were confronted with racism and discrimination. Due to this it also was a great component in “denying him a sense of belonging and driving him into social isolation” (Van Ngo & Schlifer, 2017, Albanese, 2009).
However, as Ali quoted from his favourite movie, " You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth." (Rocky Balboa). This is just what Ali did. He continued to push forward. When it came to his high school years, he found friends who had shared similar experiences as he did. They were also children immigrants and had often confronted racism and discrimination in their life. Due to these shared experiences and similar interests, these friends helped Ali finally find a sense of belonging.
Finally, through Ali’s determination, he applied to Carleton University’s Journalism program and is currently excelling in the program. Ali shares his future dreams of getting a career in Journalism. He aspires to travel around the world and share the news of other countries and he also one day would like to be a bureau chief.
Albanese, P. (2009). Newcomer Children in Canada. In P. Albanese (Ed.), Children in Canada Today (pp. 143-262). Oxford University Press.