By Maham Shakeel
Ryerson’s soon-to-be interim president Mohamed Lachemi shared his experience of coming to Canada from Algeria at the first citizenship ceremony held on campus.
He added that 30 years ago he faced many of the same barriers the people in the room may be up against, like leaving behind a familiar way of life and venturing to a new country.
“I can tell you with hard work and with people here and elsewhere, there are people who will help you achieve your goals,” said Lachemi.
Mary Cruz was one of the citizens who came to Canada from the Philippines in 2007 when her work visa was approved. As a result, she had to leave her husband, Rossano Cruz, behind. It wasn’t until four years later that Rossano would be approved for immigration that she would see him again in person, she said.
Ryerson, its international student services (ISS) department, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada organized the ceremony.
“Having a citizenship ceremony on campus shows to the broader community that institutions like Ryerson are welcoming,” said Sanjid Anik, an international student adviser at ISS who was behind the initiative. “I hope the new citizens view Ryerson as a welcoming space and remember us in their memories.”