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Born in Muscat, Oman |

When she was only five, Zuwaina and her family left Oman. After spending time in the Netherlands because of her father’s work, they decided to move to Canada with the hope of giving Zuwaina and her two sisters better future opportunities.  Zuwaina felt a lot of ‘cultural confusion’ as a child, experiencing the polarized lifestyles of Oman and the Netherlands.  Toronto’s multiculturalism allowed her, for the first time, to find balance.  Zuwaina studied Psychology and, after completing her graduate studies, began working as an addiction counsellor. This career anchors her in Toronto, and she is committed to this city that she now calls home.

Toronto as Home

After her parents made the decision to move their family to Canada, they first came to visit Toronto so they could get a feeling for what their new lives might be like. They stayed in an apartment at Yonge and Lawrence and every day they would go over to Lawrence Park to play in the snow. To this day, this park reminds Zuwaina of her first days here.

“It was a time when the possibilities of our futures in Canada swirled around us.”

Connection with the Past

A bottle of sand has remained with Zuwaina throughout her many moves, through university and grad school and it is still with her today. In Oman, Zuwaina’s father and grandfather owned a little store next to a beautiful beach. Zuwaina remembers long hours spent there, walking with her parents on the beach and playing in the sand. Before they left Oman she scooped some of the sand into a small bottle and took it with her to the Netherlands.

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