In 1990, my parents made the difficult decision to leave Egypt with my sister and I – then teenagers – and immigrate to Canada, fleeing persecution, hardship, and intolerance. For those in Canada who have shared a similar experience of migrating from their homeland, I am sure they can appreciate the uncertainty of leaving all they’ve ever known, country and community, to venture into the unknown. But in spite of the moments of confusion, fear, regret, and sense of lost identity, I found strength through my faith in God and by believing that there was a plan and a purpose for my life. I also held many hopes and dreams about Canada, the land we chose to call home.
Over the years, Canada provided me with many opportunities for success. I learned quickly that Canada is a land of opportunity, where one can achieve their greatest aspirations if they give it what it takes. In spending the majority of my life in this great country, I’ve come to embody and ascribe to the integral values upon which Canada was built, the same values which I have instilled in my children, including hard work, integrity, respect for human rights, fairness, self-improvement, and equal opportunity for all, no matter their race, sex, sexual orientation, age, or political or religious beliefs.
As I started to get involved in the local community, I began to recognize the importance of public service, and eventually got inducted into the Streetsville Rotary club in addition to joining a number of other not-for-profit boards that focus on improving the lives of others. In addition, I co-founded Civic Revival; a non-profit organization focused on local engagement where I currently serve as President and CEO.