Rita Khanchat and her family were forced to flee their home in Syria  PHOTO COURTESY: JUMPSTART REFUGEE

Rita Khanchat immigrated to Canada six years ago, fleeing the Syrian war. As a newcomer to Canada she said her greatest challenge was starting her life all over again. 

“Every single morning I wake up asking myself, ‘Do I have the energy to move on?’ You are facing a horrible situation during the war, trying to escape to Lebanon, to grab yourself, save your family, save my son’s life. And when we came here, we knew that we are capable … we’re resilient,” Khanchat says. 

Khanchat and her family had established lives an careers in Syria. But their accomplishments are not always compatible or recognized as the same by systems in Canada. She said, however, they have to continue on with their lives and be realistic. 

“We are highly educated people. I am a broadcast engineer, and my son is a lawyer. But when we came here, we faced the reality that it takes time and effort to go back to your professional career,” said Khanchat.

She fondly remembers her home country but is appreciative of Canada for enabling their family to move to a country free from war. 

“The people here are very kind, very polite, very supportive, very helpful.”. 

We talked to Rita Khanchat about her life and experiences and you can watch it here:

YouTube video
Video profile – (Rita Khanchat)

Each year, thousands of people from around the world move to Calgary to make a new life. Our partnership with CLIP explores what it means to be a newcomer in our city and how that experience is different for everyone.

You can see all the video profiles here.

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