“We have a saying in Arabic: Knowledge is light and ignorance is darkness. Vancouver Public Library is the candle that lights the community of Vancouver.”

Among the most helpful services he experienced at VPL: the free job search workshops, which with other offerings have long been part of how libraries support newcomers.

He’s continuing to juggle work and studies, and has most recently volunteered as an interpreter with a Vancouver settlement agency to help support the growing number of Syrian refugees who are coming to the region. And as part of how he’ll be helping them to get to know their new home: he’ll be telling those newcomers about the Library.

As he says, “Canada chose me and I’m glad that Canada gave me this opportunity to have this start-over. I owe my life to this country.”

support newcomers