Min Li

Min Li’s voyage to Nova Scotia from China was different than most new arrivals—she came by car. She and husband, Shiyuan, son Jack, now 10, and daughter Ryann, 3, had lived a short time in Seattle, Washington, and drove across the continent to arrive here in December 2016. Min had … Read more

Samson Woidgberiel

“Uncle Samson, do this. Uncle Samson, do that.” Those are magical words to Samson Woidgberiel, who arrived in Halifax as a refugee in 2016 to live with his sister and her family. She had already been living here for several years and she and her husband and four daughters, from … Read more

Aida Sairawan

When Aida Sairawan arrived in Montreal in February 2016, the Syria native was so captivated by the snow that she played outdoors for three days. It was -35 and despite wearing warm clothing she got sick. “I was excited,” she says, “but I was also scared.” Five years earlier, Aida, … Read more

Amardeep Sharma

When Amardeep Sharma speaks, enthusiasm about his new life in Canada is palpable. Living in Nova Scotia only since December 2016, he has already found a rewarding job as a human resources project coordinator at Delta Halifax hotel. Amardeep came here from Delhi, India, with his wife, Prajjalita, and their … Read more

Jahu Camara & James Boyle

Persecution because of her sexual orientation is why 20-year-old Jahu Camara fled to Canada, in October 2015, from her homeland of Gambia. She was supported by the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia (RRANS), a non-profit society that assists “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people” in need … Read more

Wenche Gausdal & Settlement Staff

Last October when Wenche Gausdal, ISANS Manager of Settlement and Community, heard about Syrian refugees coming to Canada, she reflected on an earlier experience– the 1999 Operation Parasol that settled 5,000 Kosovars fleeing war in their homeland. “A few of us who were involved asked what we learned. What was … Read more

Claudette Legault

Outgoing program director Claudette Legault’s path to ISANS can be traced to her childhood in a Northern Ontario mining community. “My parents never traveled, but I had a world view,” reflects Claudette. “You can’t grow up in a mining family and go through strikes and layoffs without having some sense … Read more

Thomas, Chris, Daniel

Chris Yetman & Daniel Haile

Chris Yetman vividly remembers being at the Halifax airport in September 2013 for the arrival of two refugees from Eritrea. “I see a young man looking bewildered, dead tired, and with one small suitcase,” Chris recalls. “But he is smiling from ear to ear.” The coordinator of Saint Benedict Parish’s … Read more

Al Helwani Family

Maher Al Helwani will always remember his first day in Halifax. After arriving at 3 am, he slept, ate breakfast and left his hotel for a walk. “A woman in her fifties came toward me, asked if I was Syrian and then gave me a big hug,” he says. “I … Read more

Reham Ibrahim

Working as a pharmacist in Canada is a dream come true for Reham Ibrahim. She thanks the ISANS Career Pathway Loan Fund for helping to make it happen. “We had our savings but studying and buying books is not cheap,” says Reham. “ISANS has been a very good support to … Read more

Noor Al-Anbagi and family

Noor Al-Anbagi

Noor Al-Anbagi often tells herself to stay positive. She has faced challenges since arriving as a refugee from Iraq, via Egypt, in 2009 with her parents and three younger sisters. Not only has she had to learn English, she cannot hear. To help her connect with the Deaf community, ISANS … Read more