Born in Amman, Jordan |
Toronto feels like home for Luna because it offers her the freedom to be herself. In Jordan Luna was always her father’s daughter, brothers’ sister, uncles’ niece and so on. In Toronto she is just Luna. This desire for independence and freedom is what led her to leave Jordan to pursue higher education. After starting in the United Kingdom, she then went to Michigan, USA as a Fulbright scholar but as she approached the end of her PhD studies there, the thought of returning to Jordan became more and more difficult to accept. As much as Luna missed her family, she felt restless whenever she visited her country of birth. As a woman, she found it harder and harder to fit in with the socio-cultural norms of Jordan. While Luna appreciated the opportunities that she had in the USA, the start of the second Gulf War prompted her to seek alternatives to living in a country where she had “strong reservations against its external policies”. Luna wanted to live somewhere that is both cosmopolitan and supportive of her social ideals.
“Canada was the natural choice.”
After applying and being accepted for immigration she simultaneously received an offer from the University of Waterloo to work at the School of Planning. Luna then moved to Waterloo but gravitated weekly to Toronto to pursue her passion for Argentine tango. Eventually she came to the realization that she was happiest in Toronto and decided to make the move. Dancing, Luna says, is also liberating and assures her that she is in charge of her own life and not dependent on the socio-cultural expectations she grew up with in Jordan.
Toronto as Home
Luna is sitting inside her colourful condo which is located in “The Village”, an area she describes as one of Toronto’s most diverse communities. Being in this neighbourhood provides her an opportunity to celebrate, on a daily basis, Toronto’s openness and diversity.
Connection with the Past
Luna is holding a glass sculpture of figures dancing the tango which was a gift from her sister in the summer of 2013. This present was meant to symbolize the simple joys of life – things that here she takes for granted, like being able to dance Argentine tango, something she could not easily do in Jordan. The tango symbolizes many of her ideals. Luna explains how instead of being in a state of conflict, we can communicate with each other, through music and dance.