This is part two of Suleiman´s story. Scroll down if you would like to read more.
My first visit to Lebanon was fifteen years ago. I was invited to have coffee with my former neighbors. I immediately noticed the woman whom served the coffee. She was a cute and pretty twenty-year-old girl. I asked my niece who she was.
She said, ’’It’s your host’s daughter, the one you liked teasing when you were younger!’’
I immediately liked her. After I talked to her dad about it, I took her out a few times. There was only one week left to get to know each other.
During this week, I asked her if she would marry me. We grew up in the same environment, the same mess. I knew her family and her neighbors. She experienced the same kind of life as me. That’s all I had to know about her. All the puzzle pieces that had value to me were there.
In my culture, we don’t date for months or years as we think that it’s odd. So we got engaged. A year later, after she got her Canadian visa, Honda and I got married in Athens. She is a very good woman! We have three daughters and a boy.
My wife is hosting a day care at our home. It´s a home for kids while their parents are at work. We want to give them a safe environment where they can adjust.
We try to have a big impact on the community that we are living in. Together, we cook meals for the homeless people in Brantford, every Sunday. We have been doing that for thirty-seven years now.
During the last years, we also helped to bring twelve refugee families to Canada through private sponsorship. We are working with the families and helping them with things like registering their children for school, bringing them from one place to another, translating, and helping them to adjust to life in Canada. Some of the families when they first arrived, we hosted in our home.
I’m very interested in politics! In the middle east, you can’t really say anything against the system or criticize it. It’s too dangerous. In the Western European world, you have freedom to speak. I enjoy this freedom and I am glad to live here.
This story was written with information based on interviews.