Born in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam |
Two years before his birth, Farabi’s family moved from Bangladesh to Brunei Darussalam. He spent his childhood there and when he was sixteen, his father who was the CEO of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, applied for and was granted Canadian Citizenship for the family. Upon arriving in Canada, Farabi first lived with family in Brampton and he remembers experiencing snow there for the first time. He felt that being around family, especially his brother who was already studying at U of T helped him adapt to living in a new country. Farabi finished high school in Etobicoke and, while playing on the soccer team there, he made a lot of new friends.
”My heart will always be in Brunei, but the open acceptance people have to individualism [here] allows everyone to be their own person and this is something I cherish.”
Toronto as Home
During his second summer in Canada, and having recently lost his father, Farabi decided to take a few “gap years” to work and make some money. He found work in ‘Little Italy’ as a busboy for a famous family business called Café Diplomatico. Now he has worked his way up to serving and bartending. The loyalty of the customers and the passionate staff make it special place that he is glad to be a part of. Farabi explains how this neighbourhood of ‘Little Italy’ feels like home, and for this reason he recently moved into an apartment near the Café. According to Farabi, being downtown stimulates the mind and makes one think of the future. It has allowed him to meet people of all ages and backgrounds.
Connection with the Past
On the final day of class at Jerudong International School in Brunei there is a tradition of getting your white shirt signed by fellow pupils and teachers. Farabi’s shirt holds, for him, memories of the people he grew up with and the significant relationships he had. It was a very special school. Many of the people who signed this shirt, a group he describes now as “a collection of travellers”, are also no longer living in Brunei.
“I don’t look back very much but when I see it hanging daily in my closet, it reminds me of the time, place and people.”