Syria - Vancouver
Art by Emily Honderich
Asseel Alhalabi story
Asseel Alhalabi immigrated to Canada on September 29th, 2013 from Syria. She lives with her 8-year-old daughter in West Vancouver and works as a part-time immigration consultant.
Holding Beloved Ones Close at All Times
The effect of COVID-19 on humankind’s physical and mental health turned the world upside down. As a single mother who immigrated to Canada in 2013 from war-torn Syria, I had my share of trauma. Nonetheless, the pandemic created added-on stress and changed my life dramatically. This new experience and the need to be vigilant caused chest pain that turned out to be a result of anxiety. I took it on myself to improve my well-being physically and mentally, and things seemed to ease. But back home, the pandemic fast-spreading was alarming. I recently lost my elderly father due in-part to COVID-19.
It hit me hard that the pandemic anxiety made me miss opportunities to connect with my father and the rest of my family. In such abnormal times, resilience is key to survival. Dad’s last words to me were to let love be the motive of my connection with others.
Sometimes our plans do not go the way we hope, and although we still experience the effects of the pandemic, we need to accept the uncertainty of its unsettled, ever-changing nature and keep moving forward. Life is fragile, and what lasts are the memories of happy times we share with people we hold dear.
"Sometimes our plans do not go the way we hope, and although we still experience the effects of the pandemic, we need to accept the uncertainty of its unsettled, ever-changing nature and keep moving forward."