“Canada is the country I love from the depth of my heart and Canadian citizenship will be an honour.”
When Arash Khani and his family landed in Canada in 2017 from Iran, one of the first things he did was reach out to University Settlement.
Arash quickly identified that developing his language skills and employment prospects were his immediate objectives. Settlement Counsellor Maryam Moghaddam helped him register for a language training program at George Brown College and become connected with his community.
Everything was going well for Arash and family until a few months later tragedy struck when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Once again, Arash turned to University Settlement. This time, Maryam helped Arash and his family navigate the healthcare system, financial assistance, and other supports.
“Maryam is my angel,” said Arash. “I could share my experiences and hard situations. As a newcomer herself, Maryam understood. She gave me strength.”
They had many conversations as Arash recovered from surgery and treatment. Maryam listened to his experiences, offering him emotional support and encouragement. It was a difficult time but Arash was determined to return to his language classes and start working as an Uber driver to support his family.
Earlier this year, just before COVID-19 struck, Arash contacted Maryam again for help in applying for Canadian citizenship.
“I am honored to be involved in Arash and his family’s journey from shortly after the moment he arrived in Canada to now, and beyond,” said Maryam. “He is an extraordinary individual.”