This is part three of Noor´s story. If you would like to read more of her story scroll down.
I wasn’t scared to start something new in Syria. I knew that I could make beautiful things, and find a job. After working in my friend’s salon for a few months, I opened a salon with other people. Two years later I decided to open my own salon and become independent. During this time my life was all about making money and getting a visa. I had to visit Lebanon or another country every 6 months to get another visa for Syria. I went to Lebanon frequently since it was only one hour away by bus. Lebanon is a beautiful place and I love the people there. They are smart and educated. Sometimes I felt ashamed to say that I am Iraqi. Some people didn’t like Iraqis ans said horrible things about us. I felt sorry for my country and people.
In Canada, I heard people say: “Wow, cool you’re from Iraq!’’ for the first time. There are many good people in my country and before the war, it was a beautiful place. Sometimes I’m proud to be Iraqi! I miss the place as it was before, during my childhood, and I miss the identity I had there. After I left, I had to start over with everything. When I arrived in Syria, I applied for refugee status at an UN office. After four years of waiting I had an interview. After several interviews in a year I was given official refugee status by the UNHCR. Two years later I got the message that I could go to Canada!
During the year of preparation and waiting, Kathleen, a Canadian woman who was born in Jamaica, heard about me. The refugee coordinator for the Anglican churches in the area told her that there was an Iraqi woman in Syria, waiting for someone to sponsor her. Kathleen had wanted to sponsor someone from Africa. After she was asked for the third time, she told the coordinator that that she would pray about sponsoring me. God confirmed to her that she should help me come to Canada!
This story was written with information based on interviews.
You can read more about her story in a few days.