05 Dec 2019

Two ANC employees become citizens

Two Association for New Canadians employees have officially become Canadian citizens.

Mohsen Elmeligi (at right in photo) and Samir Damerji sat near each other at the Johnson Geo Centre on Thursday, Dec. 5, and along with dozens of new Canadians from countries around the world raised their right hands, smiled proudly, and achieved their goal of Canadian citizenship. 

“I thank you for answering our invitation to make Canada your home,” NL Chief Justice Deborah Fry told the crowd before leading them through the ceremony, which also featured references to First Nations persons and their contributions throughout history. 

“I am really thankful, and so happy – it’s amazing,” said Damerji, an ANC Transportation driver originally from Syria, who became a citizen with his sons. The former refugee now provides transportation to and from language classes and health appointments for others along the same journey he and his family once took as new arrivals in a foreign country.

Meanwhile, Elmeligi, a Settlement Counsellor at the ANC’s Military Road office since 2015, says that after helping clients navigate everything from government programs and family matters to assisting with grocery shopping, achieving his citizenship is a moment he won’t soon forget.

“This is a really good experience,” he said, smiling ear-to-ear. “It was a dream. I was looking forward to this day for many years, and now it’s achieved.”

Elmeligi, who has a son in the area, and a Canadian-born grandchild, says he hopes to visit the rest of his family in Egypt soon, this time for a longer stay than he has been able to previously, thanks to his new status as a citizen.

When asked about the future of the ANC, along with his own, Elmeligi says he sees a bright future.

“We have a wonderful role in helping newcomers to Canada here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Especially these days, we are seeing significant developments that will only increase in future years,” he said.