Celebrating Canada Day as a New Canadian

by Maritime
Categories: 2020, Blog

For Ahmad, this Canada Day will be a special one. For the first time, he will be celebrating Canada Day as a Canadian citizen. Since immigrating from Syria, Ahmad has played a key role at The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Halifax by supporting newcomers with translation, interpretation and more.

In his role, Ahmad uses his ability to speak and write in four different languages to help clients overcome speaking and reading barriers. “This helps our newcomer clients feel more comfortable in expressing their needs,” Ahmad says. “It has always been my passion to support and help my community to make it the best place for all citizens.”

“This made me even more proud”

Ahmad understands the need for various types of services that The Salvation Army offers. “I did not have the feeling that I was new or different from others because all people in the community were incredibly supportive and welcoming,” Ahmad says. “This made me even more proud because I know that I will be able to provide the same support and encouragement to new people coming to Canada.”

Even though it’s difficult to portray what Canada means to Ahmad, it does mean a lot to him to be a Canadian citizen. “In Canada I found the right meaning of freedom; I can express my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions openly without restrictions or fear,” he says. “What’s more, Canada is the country that helped me in building my life and my future.”

“I have a responsibility towards my community”

In Ahmad’s free time he enjoys exploring Canada’s culture. “It’s hard to be in Canada and not enjoy the fascinating nature,” he says. “I really enjoy hiking, swimming and visiting other cities. I hang out with family and friends on the beautiful downtown streets of Halifax and enjoy having my favourite drinks and food in various restaurants.”

 The Salvation Army Centre of Hope offers a wide variety of support and programs for new Canadians. 

“As a Canadian, I have responsibility towards my community by helping and respecting people’s freedom and protecting our heritage and environment. I also feel I have more responsibility towards my country by obeying the law, participating in the election process. I appreciate all these values because they make me feel proud and special to be a Canadian citizen.”


By: Jan Keats