Letters from a Paediatrician

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I have come to Canada many times over the years, but I have recently moved permanently to Canada.

I can see the CN tower from my window, I can see all the people enjoying their Tim Horton’s double double…. I enjoy it too. But do you know what I enjoy the most? The fresh air on my face that I can breathe all the time. The sunlight warming my face, my body and my entire being.  The stars twinkling in the sky at night and the constant school of airplanes taking off and landing at the not so close Pearson airport.

I also landed on this airport less than two months ago as a refugee. This country has given me a place to live, to breathe without fear, to run, to be free. Nobody can value freedom unless it is taken away from them. All the pictures that you see on Facebook of injured children, dead bodies, dust and debris are all true. I am Syrian – I walked over 700 kms from Damascus to Jordan to “get away” from the war. I almost felt like a hero. But nobody was waiting to applaud my efforts in Jordan. I lived in a small refugee camp in Jordan for several weeks with no idea of day or night. The camp dismantled and I tried to find work on the streets to cut a living. From breaking and lugging stone at construction sites to washing parked cars with my own spit and a piece of cloth torn from my shirt, I did everything I could think of to survive.    And eventually I made it. I am here and I can only smile and laugh. I am happy I have made it to my Canada, our Canada and I hope all the children all the women and all the men seeking refuge from wars they have no part of can come here too.

I work in a small food truck close to the Sick Kids hospital. One day I too will be able to help all the sick kids who come here as I am a Paediatrician (from Syria). I plan to take the qualifying tests for residency very soon. So look out, Dr. Maalik may be your children’s next doctor. Amen.  And yes, I am Canada!


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