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Born in Assab, Eritrea |

Due to conflict between two nations, Said grew up with a family divided: a father in Eritrea and a mother in Ethiopia. His father, a fisherman, wanted Said to get an education and sent him from Ethiopia to live with his father’s family in Yemen. When his mother made the move to Toronto, she told Said that his life could be better here and she could sponsor him. Said was hesitant to make the move.  Now in Toronto, Said appreciates his freedom, and likes that there are rules that are enforced. In Eritrea, he says there are few rules, and if there are rules they are not well enforced. Here he is working part-time as a security guard and studying at the City Adult Learning Centre. Said hopes and believes this will lead to job opportunities and a bright future.

Toronto as Home

Said wanted to be photographed where he first encountered Lake Ontario at Woodbine Park. Whenever he is in front of a big body of water, he thinks about his father and his country of birth, and in a way feels at home again. The experience immediately reminds Said of his childhood where he spent many hours on the beach helping his father with the fish.

Connection with the Past

Said was always handling fish when he was working on the beach in Eritrea, washing them and putting them on ice. At the end of a workday he would regularly go home with one for dinner. Fish, he explains, is a big part of his culture, and was always present in his day to day activities in Eritrea. Said emphasizes how in his community cooking and eating always brought people together. 

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