By Madeha Alfkiki

My name is Madeha Alfkiki. I am from Iraq. I came to Canada in March 2011.

I was living in Syria before I came to Canada.

When I was 18 years old, my father was very sick. My mom was working to help us survive. My sister and I didn’t complete our studies. From the age of seven years old I loved to study, but my circumstances did not allow me to continue going to school.

I got married at age eighteen to a man who was poor. After two years he left me and married another woman.

I started to work as a hairdresser at a salon. Life was so hard in the war. Many people were killed in the streets. A terrorist set off a bomb near my workplace and killed my mother, father and two
brothers.

I fled Iraq and went to Syria to save my life. I started to work there and registered with the UN for help. The money and food from the UN was not enough for me to live. They told me I would have to wait a long time, and that maybe I would be able to go to another place like Canada.

After six years, I had a short interview and I told them about what happened to my family. I did my best with my broken English, and I think they understood me. Finally they helped me to move to Canada.

Right now I live in a place called Welcome Home. I don’t know where I will ever find another family like I have here. You have shown me kindness and respect – it means a lot. I am happy to be in a safer place like Canada.