When I first came to Canada I was amazed at the cultural diversity here.
I’ll give you an example; the people who sat around my office at some point (before I moved jobs because I now feel like I am working in China); the person working in front of me was an Ismaili woman from Zaire, the office next to me was a Jewish guy, the Office next to that was a guy from Pakistan, and the office next to that was a Greek lady, then Portuguese and the list goes on.
There were some people who considered themselves Canadian, just because they are like the 7th or 8th generation.
Not only the nationalities, but also the religions, we Had Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Ismaili’s (they practice a version of Islam), Hindus, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Jews, and the list goes on.
Once I was sitting in a meeting, and the attendees were:
One Arab (me)
1 Sri Lankan
And 2 white people.
All the non-whites were immigrants, meaning, none of them were even 1st generation Canadians. So I had to adjust listening to each of them speak, it was hilarious, I was really laughing inside because it was too funny.
And no, I don’t work for the UN.
The people I get along with the most are my Jewish friends, we have so much in common, some of our traditions, the way we speak, what we eat, our sense of humour and lots of stuff.
Of course we scrapped about Israel and Palestine; believe you me it was/still very rough during any conflict, we always have heated arguments about them, especially during the Genin conflict.
But eventually we came to accept each other and the situation and how, besides the politics, we are all humans, we think the same and laugh the same.
Another Jewish co-worker of mine, a really sweet lady, had never met a Palestinian in her life. After she got over the initial shock, I explained to her that I am a Jordanian but both my Parents were born in Palestine and their parents before them and their parents before them , and how they had to leave, and how it’s so sad that my Grandparents couldn’t visit their relatives in their hometown. And how they left everything they owned behind, and how Palestine should belong to them too and not only to Israel.
So we talked about it and she learned a lot about the struggle of the people, the suffering they went and go through. She was amazed, because they don’t hear it first hand, when they see it on the news they don’t attach it to a person, it’s just a picture, so for me to tell her how my family’s life changed because of it and how most Palestinians can never go back.
All my Jewish friends hate the situation, hate both the Palestinian and Jewish leaderships and they really want peace ; I wouldn’t have befriended them otherwise.
In return she told me (all of them actually told me) about the holocaust and how their parents escaped and the suffering they went through, it was heart breaking really, one of my friends moms still has psychological issues and she is 83 years old, almost 60 years passed and she still can’t get over it.
This is why I love Canada. I met and meet amazing people, I learn a lot every day. I also lost a lot of my prejudices (still working on a few) and learned to see beyond color, religion and politics.
Anyhoo, take care people.
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