Born in Khartoum, Sudan |
Having a friend in Toronto, Atif was told about his life here and he knew he had to go to Canada. In Sudan, Atif no longer felt safe. As a member of a political opposition party he was blacklisted from opportunities. When he received official permission to come live in Canada, he says he “felt the world between [his] hands”. Before leaving Sudan, in his imagination, life was going to be very easy in Canada. After his first three months here, he felt disappointed and frustrated but says he has “a strong spirit that can’t die,” and he is sure Toronto is a place where he can build a good life for himself, a place where he feels safe, and can voice his opinion without being afraid. Currently he is at school improving his English skills and working in Security.
Toronto as Home
Atif wanted to be photographed in front of the Old City Hall. This is where he recently participated in a protest with a group of Sudanese activists calling for government action to help the plight of the people in Sudan. In front of old city hall, they chanted, “Harper, Harper, why are you silent? The Sudanese people need action!” He says “Toronto police officers were on site, and rather than reprimand us, they allowed us to continue.” He even said one officer protected him from the traffic.
Connection with the Past
In Sudan, people drink coffee all the time and it is a big part of their daily routine. Atif often drinks coffee to relax with family and friends. When he came to Toronto, he noticed that everyone always had a Tim Hortons coffee. He remembers when his friend was showing him the city and he had his first Tim Hortons coffee. He didn’t like it originally, but because it seemed everybody in Toronto was drinking it, he thought ‘if I want to be Canadian, I should do it too’. After a while, he says he got used to the taste, and now drinks it regularly. When he holds the Tim Hortons cup, he feels a little more Canadian.