Meet Umut Duygu Uzunel 

What was the biggest challenge when you arrived in Canada?
Language and communication. I needed someone’s help to translate what I say. It was difficult not to be able to express your needs.

Why did you/your family choose to come to Canada?
I did not choose it. It was my fate. I was planning to go to Africa to work there and help people as I did before the nightmare days began. When I was in Greece, my friend called me, she had gotten a flight ticket to Toronto for me. That’s why I am here.

What did you think of the winter when you first came here?
I was thinking not to be able to live in Canada because of my disability, which makes it impossible to walk on snow or ice. However, when I saw the first winter, I was mesmerized by its beauty. Winter here does not affect the life amazingly. Sometimes, I think that if Canada does not have winter, could this country be lovely like this?

What does Canada mean to you in three words?
Safety, serenity and tolerance.

What do you miss the most about your home town?
I miss my husband who is not be able to come to Canada, my parents and siblings. Also, I miss my working place – I was happy to be there – and my colleagues.

How does life compare here to life back home?
The life here is calm and slow unlike my home country, Turkey. When you go to official places in Turkey, the processes are fast, and everybody works fast. In Canada, people in public places seem sluggish, which is little weird for us who are used to being fast.

Read Umut's story: Shoes Tell Their Owner’s Story

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