Sama’s Story – More Than A Piece of Paper: Citizenship Stories

Sama’s Story – More Than A Piece of Paper: Citizenship Stories


My name is Sama. I’m a Canadian citizen
and I received my citizenship when I was
ten-years-old. I came here when I was five-years-old from Iraq. I was born in Baghdad. I’m 24 years old now and I just graduated from Ryerson University. My grandparents’ realized after the Iranian war and then the Gulf War
that there was probably gonna be another war coming, so they decided that Iraq was
no longer a safe country to stay. I remember being young and knowing that the citizenship meant that we could stay in this country and for us having come
from a war-torn country, it just meant you had freedom. Freedoms that you
could have never imagined back home. Being a Canadian citizen has
allowed me to do many thanks that I wouldn’t have been
able to do otherwise or not to the same extent at least. I started working when I was 15 years
old. I was a good…I was working at Centre
Island and it was my first job and of course being a Canadian citizen meant
that I can apply to any job. I decided to go into politics and
governance at Ryerson University and the reason why it’s such a big deal is because I know that if I had grown-up and in Iraq, this opportunity would never have come
about and I would not have been able or had the
chance to and study politics given that Saddam was in power and it was a dictatorship and it was a one-party
rule. To be a Canadian citizen means that I am legally entitled to remain in this country. I am entitled to access all the social programs and
services that this country offers. I am entitled to vote and you are not allowed to be deported at this point. I decided to
become more involved in my University years. I wanted to a take part in something
that was a global initiative so I applied for this Mosaic position and
it was the New Mosaic which is a
non-governmental organization that promotes open dialogue between
communities that are dealing with ethnic conflict in their homelands I and and it was just the perfect
opportunity for myself having come from Iraq. To become a part
of it meant that I was no longer just a Canadian standing on the
sidelines but I was actually taking part in something that was grander.

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