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Understanding Integration of Syrian Youth in Canada

Using photo narrative methods creates an opportunity for youth to share their story in safe and dynamic ways. The goal of this work is to continue to refine services in Canada to support optimal integration experiences.


“The idea behind this video is to take the scene from the morning to the night. When I was coming back from school; I have noticed a narrow path. There were a lot of trees, the house! A lot of leaves falling. The scene was beautiful. I do not know what made me stop and take a video. It feels like it is a path to forget whatever sad and bad situations I went through. The falling leaves felt like saying let’s forget what happened and keep walking in this path. The leaves resemble us, and the nice breeze, Ahh. It felt saying nothing worth feeling this much pain. I felt it saying: let’s be as light as these flying leaves. This path for me seemed like if it was a time machine that makes you forget the past, the sad memories.”

“This is when we used to walk to the bus during winter. I have not seen snow in my life ever before we came to Canada. It snows in other parts of our country but not in my hometown where I used to live. It makes me feel happy that I finally see snow. You feel how winter feels like.”

Retrieved from:

“My experience was like a door that has been opened for me. I had hoped to study, succeed in my life. The door symbolizes paths or ways for the things that I like to do in life. [the interviewer and participants commented on the side the door opens]. It is that I stand in front of the world. The whole world is forward. Look, there are trees, and it is green outside. There are things that give me the hope to keep going. I took this photo I was 16 years old.”

“This is the path that I walk step by step. It has no end because there is no end to things. Once I finish one thing, I start doing the other thing. There is always something in front. In this picture, there is this line, it is like a stumble or any other thing along the way that may shock you or stop you, but no, you will go back to your plan that you had for yourself. You may learn from it, and there is this small plant in between the tiles. While you are going through your journey, there are beautiful things. It makes you feel the joy of the experience during the tough times.”

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Background images © 2021 Ahmad Mouazen