Refugees building a new life in Canada: Winnipeg and Charlottetown

Refugees building a new life in Canada: Winnipeg and Charlottetown

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Transcript: “Refugees building a new life in Canada: Winnipeg and Charlottetown”

Video length: 05:39 minutes

A seated woman speaks.

Text displays: “Foton Khatabi – Refugee from Syria

Foton: I left Syria because of the war, because we were unable to stay in Syria.

A group of people walk along a snow-covered sidewalk and enter a park. They are all smiling as they sit on park benches and swings. They leave the park and arrive at a suburban house.

Narration: Many refugees like Foton and her family have had to leave their country because they feared for their safety. Foton’s family chose Winnipeg as the place to start their new life in Canada. Despite its harsh winters and freezing temperatures, they found a place where they feel safe.

Her family now has the chance to live in a community where they feel completely accepted, with no discrimination, an important factor for newcomers.

A seated man speaks.

Text displays: “Mohammad Khatabi – Refugee from Syria

Mohammad: With God’s grace, the safety and security of Canada is constantly there. And, because of the way Canadian people treat us, they don’t make us feel as though we are expatriates in Canada.

A group of people are having a snowball fight in a park.

Narration: A new country, an inclusive education system and a promising future make it possible for Foton, the eldest in the family, to believe in a new life.

A seated woman speaks. Two women sit on the swings in a snow-covered park. A woman picks up a young boy and kisses him on the cheek.

Narration: She knows that her dream of one day opening her own office as a psychologist is now possible. At school, her classmates and teachers support her and remark on her progress. A big advantage of studying in Canada is inclusion free from discrimination. She is aware of the opportunities she has in Canada and truly hopes to take advantage of them.

A seated woman speaks.

Foton: The teachers are very helpful, and they have made us love the school. They support us in everything.

A family sits on the floor and eats a meal.

Narration: Her family has been settled in Manitoba for awhile. The community welcomed them with open arms. The family has received not just financial assistance but also personalized support to help them settle in Winnipeg and access to all the services they need.

A seated man speaks.

Mohammad: Canada is a second home for the Syrian family, a destination coveted by many refugees.

A family sits together. A couple is cooking a meal in a kitchen.

Narration: For refugees, the days are long. They face many hours of hard work, but the results are worth it. With a great deal of discipline, newcomers learn one of Canada’s two official languages, knowing that it is essential to building their new life. Saba and Alemseghed arrived in Winnipeg several years ago and quickly settled into life in Canada, despite the language barriers.

A seated woman speaks.

Text displays: “Saba A. Asghedom – Refugee from Eritrea

Saba A. Asghedom (Refugee from Eritrea): I went to school. I started to go to school in the evening. When my husband comes from work, I leave my kid, and I go to school. I did my English as a second language. Also, I know the language. I just have to go through that so to know what’s going on. So, I did that for about … I would say two months. I didn’t know anything about health care aid. I was not even a nurse, but I said, “I’m going to take that course because it looks easy, and it’s science. Science doesn’t change.”

A couple prepares a meal in a kitchen.

A seated man speaks.

Text displays: “Alemseghed Asghedom – Refugee from Eritea

Alemseghed Asghedom (Refugee from Eritrea): It is constantly a struggle, but it’s something that we wanted to do. It’s something; we are tenacious and very ambitious, and we knew education is a way for work to us. Therefore, we decided that we continue our education without let go.

A couple puts papers into large envelopes while sitting at a dining room table.

A man individually tutors a woman in a classroom while other students study.

Narration: Khaled Alzoubi also immigrated with his immediate family, leaving several loved ones behind.

Text displays: “Khaled Alzoubi – Refugee from Syria

A seated man speaks in front of a bookshelf, a globe and the Canadian flag.

Khaled Alzoubi (Refugee from Syria): I’m feeling blue because I left most my family, most my relatives, in different countries. I left two brothers in Syria. I left three sisters in Lebanon. I left one sister in Jordan, and the situation there is very, very, very, very difficult.

An urban street is shown. Several flags fly in front of an office building.

Students study in a classroom.

Narration: In the small community of Charlottetown, learning English helped him start his life over and plan to return to work.

A seated man speaks in front of a bookshelf, a globe and Canadian flag. The lyrics to “O Canada” are pinned to the wall.

A montage of students and teachers interacting in a classroom is shown as he speaks.

Khaled Alzoubi: I hope to continue my study, maybe Holland College, maybe university, maybe … maybe I will be obliged to work, any work. I don’t know. In my opinion, if you learn English well, you can find anything. If you do your best to understand the life in Canada, you can find your future.

A mantel of family photos is shown.

A seated woman speaks.

Footage of her preparing a meal in a kitchen is shown as she speaks.

Saba A. Asghedom: Everything from raising my kids into that place, giving me education, opportunity to educate myself and, when I was educated, the opportunity to have a job like any other Canadian who was born here and raised here. Work hard, educate yourself, and you’ll get there.

A seated man speaks.

Footage of him filing papers into large envelopes while sitting at a dining room table is shown as he speaks.

Alemseghed Asghedom: So, the biggest thing that Canada has given me is my life back, as a refugee, and a land where I can settle and live, a passport that I can use to travel without being questioned, a community where I can experience, a community where I can volunteer, I can give back my services, where it’s recognized. So, Canada gave me back my life, which I couldn’t have before.

Background of an urban street is shown. An office building flies several flags, Canadian flags among them.

Text displays:

Narrator: To find out more, visit

Fade to black.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature along with the copyright message: “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2016.” is shown.

Canada wordmark is shown on a black background.


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