OUR NEIGHBORS: Shahram Bagher Ghanbari

IMG_0107

“I’m originally from Iran. I immigrated to Canada January 2015 and I’ve been in Fredericton for two years. I applied to immigrate to Canada in 2010 and it took 5 years to end up in Canada. It’s a long process. That was with the previous government, I think things have changed with the new government at the moment… Within this whole nation, Fredericton is a great place to spend your money and live because it’s quiet, clean, safe, beautiful, it’s a great place. But when it comes to doing business, there is no trust in immigrants. That’s what bothers me. When you want to go insure your car I have to pay 3X as much as a Canadian pays because they do not give me credit for my past experience because it hasn’t been in Canada or in the U.S. But if you go to Toronto, they give you at least 3 years of credits. If you want to go to the bank, because you have no credit history in Canada, except your credit history from your own country, you cannot do things that you used to do in your own country. And that is something bothering.”

We live in a richly diverse community, but we sometimes don’t see the unique and beautiful individuals and families who live in Fredericton South. Many members of our community are overlooked, some are invisible, and sometimes they are Othered. In the coming months, I want to introduce you to some of our neighbours. They are us. This summer we are featuring the work of Faces of the Immigration Story, a collaborative effort to weave the experiences of Fredericton’s immigrants into an inspiring tale of their journey into becoming new Canadians.