From Damascus to Toronto: the story of Mohamed

Growing up in Damascus, Syria's capital, Mohamed remembers bombs exploding around his house, shattering the windows. The final straw, however, was when he finished university and faced conscription into the Syrian army. As a gay man, he knew he would not survive long. And he did not want to participate in the brutal civil war and risk killing innocent civilians. So he fled to Lebanon. But as a refugee, he could not legally work there and had no future. Then he met a Canadian, and dreamed of coming to Canada to start a new life.

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Transcript: From Damascus to Toronto: the story of Mohamed

Video length: 56 seconds

Urban music plays in the background while a video montage is shown of a dark sky with black windy clouds. The sky opens up to reveal sunlight hidden behind.

The screen turns from daylight to a white background.

Gold text displays: “Canada’s Humanitarian Tradition” with a red Canadian maple leaf.

A man appears on screen in a church setting.

Mohamed (Former Refugee): I lived in Syria for three and a half years in that context of conflict. It was either that I stay and engage in that violence, be part of it, or that I leave. So, I decided to leave. I was stuck in Lebanon with no legal status. So basically, I was sponsored by Bathurst United Church, and I started volunteering at the Continuing Education Student Association of Ryerson. And, after about two weeks, they offered me a job there. Canada makes it very easy for you to feel welcome and to feel like you’re at home.

The screen goes black.

Text displays in white font: “To learn more: Canada/ca.refugees

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