Born in Al-Khums, Libya |
Even though Ruchita was born in Libya, she explains how her parents weren’t Libyans. While a majority of Libyans were welcoming and friendly, a minority of them did not accept ‘outsiders’ like her family. Ruchita’s father was scared that someday, someone might come and try to hurt his family. Ruchita’s mom also desired greater independence and freedom, both of which she lacked in Libya. So, for better education, safety, freedom and peace, they moved to Canada. While they faced a difficult transition, in terms of cultural difference and language, Ruchita says she felt supported through this challenge which kept her strong and confident. She also says she feels safe in Toronto as a woman, because if anything goes wrong, help is only minutes away. Ruchita has found that generally Torontonians care about who someone is on the inside rather than focusing on where they came from or how they look. This is a city, and people, she respects and loves.
Toronto as Home
When Ruchita feels like taking a break from the outside world and having some time alone for herself, she goes to Skymark Park in North York. She explains how many evenings are spent here in the summer, relaxing and listening to music. It is the beauty and quietness of this place that draws her here.
Connection with the Past
Ruchita is holding a photograph of her and her parents in front of Leptis Magna – the ancient ruins of one of the Roman Empire’s most prominent cities. She says it reminds her of the fun times in Libya as a child – memories of happy days that she wants to cherish for the rest of her life. As a family, they used to go there to enjoy its beauty, sitting for hours by the water and every time a relative or a friend came to visit them from a different country, they would proudly take them there. If ever given a chance, Ruchita would love to go to Leptis Magna again and relive these memories.