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We sat down for a chat with Majeda Boshi. Originally from Aleppo, Syria, Majeda did not finish her college education, as she got married and started a family. Her family’s well-being became her priority and when war started, she decided to relocate her family to Turkey for their safety. From Turkey, the Boshi family were accepted as refugees to Canada in 2016.

How did your family adjust when you moved to Canada?

When we first arrived in Canada, everything was different; the culture, the people, and the language. I started to learn English and  I hoped that in the future I could continue my education in something related to childcare.

From your experience, how have community initiatives helped newcomers integrate?

My participation in the BarakaBites program (CultureLink) was my window to a new world, A world that I knew nothing about. The program allowed me to get to know Canadians intimately, to understand and become familiar with their kindness. By attending workshops on entrepreneur skills, I learnt how to interact with clients and sell my food to showcase the authentic taste of my country.

Economic integration is a main theme of Jusoor’s conference, how do you think cooking can help individuals integrate?

The CultureLinks program motivated me to convert my hobby into a career and start my own project named Al-Basha, a catering service which offers Arab and western food, with a speciality in Aleppo’s cuisne. This project allowed me to introduce my country’s cuisine and showcase the culturally rich city I come from in Syria by sharing its food. My project wouldn’t be possible without the help of two people that I’ve met in the program. Those people work hard with all persistence and support with all honesty, these people were Elizabeth and Cookie; they supported my steps with advice, trust, and love.

What are you looking forward to at the Jusoor Fifth Annual Global Conference? 

I am looking forward to the opportunity Jusoor granted me to participate as a food exhibitor at the conference. I hope this will help me grow my business and to have the opportunity to present my country’s culture and authenticity through my dishes.

What activity do you believe each newcomer should be connected with to help them integrate into their new community?

I believe that food is an artistic and creative product that people can understand easily and interact with. I think that culinary activities and initiatives are a great way to integrate with new communities and connect with your neighbors. The CultureLinks program increased my self-esteem and gave me the experience about how to make food and deal with people.

Posted by Al Basha on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Thank you to Majeda for sitting down to discuss her resettlement journey.

To learn more and support here business visit her facebook page.

Thank you to May Massijeh for translating the interview.

Kitty Shephard is the director of communications and outreach for Welcome Home TO