Page 1

Spring 2014

Victoria BC


Wearing the Hijab:

the public face of Islam

a l a n g u a g e & c u l t u r e m a g a z i n e for women new to Canada

answers to activities on pages 14, 15, 22

C O N T E N T T H AT M AT T E R S What Victoria B.C. is saying about Here! Magazine:

page 14 weight machines 1. leg press 2. leg extension 3. pec dec 4. leg curl

page 15 abbreviations LATS = latissimus dorsi muscles PECS = pectoralis major muscles ABS = abdominal muscles QUADS = quadricep muscles REPS = repetitions GLUTES = gluteal muscles DELTS = deltoid muscles HAMS = hamstring muscles TRAPS = trapezius muscles

Sharons’ workout LATS (vertical row) PECS (pec dec) ABS (plank) QUADS (leg press, leg extension) GLUTES (leg press) DELTS (shoulder press, pec dec) HAMS (leg curl, leg press)

general part of the body where the muscles are found: LATS (mid-back) PECS (chest) ABS (abdomen) QUADS (front thigh) GLUTES (buttocks) DELTS (shoulder) HAMS (back of thigh) TRAPS (upper back)

Here! reminds me that I have a voice.

-Nat Johnstone

I love “Here!” because it’s so important to have such a resource in the community, especially for immigrant women! -Olga Minko

Since I moved to Victoria three years ago, I’ve really longed to connect with the multicultural community here. Reading your magazine last night prompted me to reach out to volunteer—something I’ve always thought about doing. The look of the magazine is fantastic, and I found the content really interesting. I look forward to reading more, and will be connecting with Here! Magazine through your social media channels. -Renée Layberry

Your federal and provincial representatives

Here to Help

true or false 1. F (False) 2. F (False 3. T (True) 4. F (False) 5. T (True) 6. T (True) 7. F (False) 8. F (False)

Randall Garrison MP

Maurine Karagianis MLA





page 22 So you want to be a Canadian citizen, eh? Test 1. c - In the Parliament of Canada 2. b - Alberta (Edmonton), Saskatchewan (Regina) and Manitoba (Winnipeg) 3. c - Commissioner 4. b - April 1, 1999 5. c - Service 6. d - The Queen, The House of Commons and the Senate



Carole James MLA

Rob Fleming MLA




MP+MLAs-Here!Mag-1402.indd 1


14-02-17 12:16 PM

O U R M U LT I C U LT U R A L C O M M U N I T Y V ic toria has a vibrant and growing multicultural communit y! These organizations celebrate culture and diver sit y with annual event s l i ke t h e D r a g o n P a r a d e, F l a m e n c o F e s t i v a l, G r e e k f e s t , a n d t h e H i g h l a n d Games and Celtic Festival. They also of fer suppor t and ser vices to their member s and newcomer s, including language suppor t, health and wellness ac tivities, net working oppor tunities, a n d w o r k- r e l a t e d s k i l l d e v e l o p m e n t . The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) is excited to offer “Citizenship 101”, a pilot project funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, to help all newcomers across BC gain a better understanding of their role as citizens and prepare better for the Citizenship test. Contact: Keri Greenidge at

Victoria and Vancouver Island Greek Community Society

Settlement Services

Victoria Canada-China Friendship Association White Eagle Polish Association

Institute for Canadian Citizenship (Victoria Chapter) Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island Victoria Highland Games Association Sons of Scotland The Royal Commonwealth Society Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Victoria Native Friendship Centre Victoria Korean-Canadian Women’s Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Caregivers Association Victoria Filipino-Canadian Seniors Association Victorian Croatian Community Leonardo Da Vinci Centre India Canada Cultural Association Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island Victoria African Caribbean Cultural Society Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society Vancouver Island Thai Association Newcomers Connect

ICA’s Settlement Services program connects

individuals and organizations across cultures. To help immigrants

and refugees reach their goals, ICA provides information, support, and tools to assist with housing, healthcare, education, human rights, Canadian law, family concerns, citizenship, and more.

Immigrant Welcome Centre

Since 1978, ICA has helped more than 20,000 newcomers.

For more information or to register: Tel: 250-388-4728 Email:

please contact us at if you would like to highlight your organization or event in here! magazine Publisher | Functionall Books Editor | Fiona Bramble Associate Editor | Christy Sebelius Contributing Writers | Erin Renwick, Kedsanee Broome, Sharon Jacobson, Alex Creighton, Kelly Sterk, Ali Dadkhah, Heidy L贸pez, Adrienne Clarkson Design and Layout | Fiona Bramble Production | Black Press get here! magazine for your home or organization: advertise in here! magazine:

here magazine 160 Eberts St. Victoria BC Canada V8S 3H7



@heremagazineCA /

All contents copyrighted. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint, or copy any material from here! magazine. Ideas and opinions expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or advertisers. The publisher neither endorses nor assumes any liability for the contents of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. $4.95

ISSN: 2291-8582

letter from the editor Welcome to our second issue! It has been an incredible few months for our team, connecting and sharing with newcomers and community organizations here in our beautiful city. I recently had the honour of facilitating a roundtable discussion

and witnessing 42 new Canadians swear the Citizenship Oath at a special citizenship ceremony held at the Royal British Columbia Museum and hosted by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. It was a moving experience on many levels, particularly when many of our newest Canadians told me that even from their earliest days as newcomers, they had instantly felt that they were Canadian, not ”other” and an equal part of Canada’s multicultural mosaic.

These sentiments made me feel proud to be Canadian and overjoyed for these new citizens,

but I also know that the newcomer path is not always as simple as that. In my many conversations with other newcomers in our community, they expressed an pervasive sense of “otherness” - an invisible but perceptible barrier between “them” and “us”.

My eight-year old asked me the other day how he can ask someone about his or her background or

ethnicity without sounding racist. It was a good question, and is. I am grateful in my work to have a platform that encourages open dialogue about race and culture . In my personal life, I am able to sit around my kitchen table and ask my friends of varying backgrounds about aspects of their race, religion, and culture without any of us feeling awkward or ignorant. I sometimes feel that the stories I am told are precious secrets that I am privileged to know. These opportunities aren’t available for many people. So how can we learn about each other without the fear of offending or appearing ignorant? Let’s start the conversation.

This issue highlights the stories of Muslim women in our community and welcomes word mentor,

Sharon Jacobson, who introduces us to strength training and shows us how all those weird machines at the gym work. In addition to our regular columns, we are lucky to add a “men’s corner” with male newcomer insights, a guide to renting in Victoria, and a special citizenship message from The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson.

This magazine is a meeting place for all Canadians , new and “old”. Each story and article is another

Canadian reaching out to welcome you here and share in your experience. Make yourself at home.

Fiona Bramble, Editor

2nd-generation Irish-Scottish Canadian

Content Volume 1, Issue 2

newhere page 9

Welcome Heidy López, public accountant, from Caracas, Venezuela. Heidy first arrived in Victoria B.C. in 2009 as a student. She has since started a new career and plans to make Victoria home.

feature article


Read the stories of the women in Victoria’s vibrant Muslim community and about their personal decisions to wear or not wear the hijab.

learnhere page 12

Learn the language of the gym and get exercise and health tips in this issue’s lesson: “a beginner’s workout” with word mentor and personal trainer, Sharon Jacobson.



page 17


Share the joys and growing pains of a multicultural family with Kedsanee Broome as her children remind her that being “different” can be a source of pride.

Discover what Victoria’s newcomer men are up to and meet Ali Dadkhah, facilitator of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria Men’s Group.

readhere page 8

The Beggar Maid excerpt by Alice Munro

moneyhere page 10

Establishing credit in Canada by Kelly Sterk

imageshere page 11

Tourism Victoria’s Image Gallery

renthere page 16

Looking for a place to rent by Alex Creighton

hereinCanada page 22 Citizenship Quiz #2 Tweeting Canada




The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson shares her powerful citizenship story.


any of us came from somewhere else. Some of us arrived 100 years ago, some of us 100 days ago. Now we are here, working, living, and learning together. We may have

arrived in different ways and may have come for different reasons. We may be going down different paths but one thing is the same: here is home.



Canadian Literature

books & stories by Canadian authors

Patrick Blatchford was in love with Rose. This had become a f ixed, even furious, idea with him. For her, a continual sur prise. He wanted to mar r y her. He waited for her after classes, moved in and walked beside her, so that anybody she was talking to would have to reckon with his presence. He would not talk when these friends or classmates of hers were around, but he would tr y to catch her eye, so that he could indicate by a cold incredulous look what he thought of their conversation. Rose was f lattered, but ner vous. A girl named Nancy Falls, a friend of hers, mispronounced Metter nich in front of him. He said to her later, “How can you be friends with people like that?” Nancy and Rose had gone and sold their blood photo credit: Derek Shapton together, at Victoria Hospital. They each got f ifteen dollars. They spent most of the money on evening shoes, tar ty silver sandals. Then because they were sure the bloodletting had caused them to lose weight, they had hot fudge sundaes at Boomers. Why was Rose unable to defend Nancy to Patrick? excerpt from

The Beggar Maid

thinking about the story

about the author Alice Munro

Alice Munro is the 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Ms. Munro now lives in British Columbia and is the first Canadian woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. She has been called “the pre-eminent master of the short story”.


Is Rose in love with Patrick? What kind of person is Rose? What kind of person is Patrick? Why does Patrick give Rose a “cold incredulous look” when she is talking with her friends? Do you think Rose and Patrick eventually get married?




e ” ?

k ?

newhere Heidy López P U B L I C ACCOUNTANT

reason for coming here: to learn English, seek employment opportunities, and have a better quality of life. getting here: quite an adventure: I took 2 flights, plus a ferry and spent almost 3 hours in immigration among other things. studying here: English courses at University of Victoria (UVIC), Certificate and Diploma in Business Administration at UVIC, Canadian Certification in Accounting at the General Accountants Association of BC (CGA).





favorite thing to do here: walk on the beaches and look at the scenery.

most helpful person here: it’s going to sound selfish, but to be honest, I helped myself the most.

Finally! I am here!

check the Internet

I stay connected to my

for volunteering

culture through the

positions at churches,

Internet radio stations;

museums, or non-

listening to Latin music

profit associations;

takes me back so quickly

volunteers are always

to Venezuela.


Caracas, Venezuela mother tongue


needed somewhere in Victoria.

The hardest thing is

I miss tons of things, mainly my family and friends. I also miss

to communicate 100%

the weather, food,

exactly what I want


to express, what my thoughts and feelings are.

here & there

Canadians have heavy food for dinner and light food for lunch. It’s the opposite in Venezuela!



V i c to r i a i s a c it y f u l l o f o ppo r tun it y - but many p e o p l e ne e d f i nanc i a l h e l p to get s t a r te d. C re d it - o r th e ab i l it y to bo r row m oney - i s an i m po r t ant to o l f o r many par t s o f C ana d i an l i f e, i nc l u d i ng re nt i ng apar tm e nt s , bo o k i ng hote l s , and bu yi ng a l m o s t any th i ng on l i ne. Many C ana d i ans u s e c re d it to pu rc has e h i gh - pr i ce d ite m s l i ke ca r s and hou s e s . C re d it i s a l s o o f te n u s e d f o r f und i ng ne e d s l i ke po s ts e condar y e d u cat i on o r s t ar t i ng a ne w bu s i ne s s .

photo credit: Old Towne by Deanne Gillespie . All rights reserved by


creditcredit in financial terms

means any kind of borrowing: credit cards, mortgages and vehicle loans are all examples of credit. Credit is used when a person borrows money from a lender and then pays this same amount plus interest over a specific period of time back to the institution that loaned the money.


credit score also

called a credit rating, your credit score shows your history of owing money and paying it back. This rating is based on whether or not you pay bills and loan repayments on time—a high score means you make payments regularly and are responsible with credit. You need a good credit rating to be able to use credit in the future.


lender a lender can

be a bank, credit union, mortgage broker, or any individual that lends you money.


interestinterest is a

service fee charged on borrowed money, usually calculated as a yearly percentage (for example, 4.5%) that is paid monthly.


debt debt is something—

usually an amount of money— that has been borrowed from a lender and must be paid back.


How d o I star t building a good credit score?

apply for a credit card through your bank or credit union

use the credit card regularly and pay it off each month

tips for using credit Always pay your bills on time. Pay your bills in full or at least pay the required minimum amount on your monthly statement. Pay your debts as quickly as possible. Don’t go over the credit limit on your credit card; the higher the balance, the more impact it has on your credit score.

Kelly Sterk

Branch Manager Island Savings ,Tuscany Village Branch


In 2007, Tourism Victoria “invited residents and visitors alike to send photos of their favourite Victoria moments in to Tourism Victoria’s first ever ‘Full of Life’ photo contest. Over 4,500 submissions flooded in, showing just how full of life Victoria really is. [They] received pictures of wildlife, plants and gardens, the ocean and its creatures, arts and cultural events, festivals, city and streetscapes, outdoor adventures, sports, architecture, and many others.”


These (and the one of Old Towne on the opposite page) are just a sample of the incredible images that were taken. After a wet winter, they are a great reminder that we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! photo credit: Mount Baker from Cattle Point by Dylan Hoen. All rights reserved by

photo credit: Tallships Festival by Gary Webster All rights reserved by

photo credit: Goldstream Park by Vadym Garifer. All rights reserved by

photo credit: Fort Rodd on a Perfect Day by Brian Young All rights reserved by

Victoria was named’s “Most Romantic City in Canada” for both 2013 and 2014! photo credit: Breaching Humpback by Jacklyn Barrs All rights reserved by

All rights reserved by



words by

We’re going to start today with our big muscles, using the leg machines for our lower body.

Choose a weight that isn’t too heavy for you.

Adjust the back for your height.

Sharon Jacobson personal training manager @ VI Fitness

Adjust the foot bar. The pad should be on your shoe laces.

the leg extension This machine works your quadriceps. Sit as far back as you can to support your back. Raise the foot bar with both feet underneath and take it up without locking the legs; slowly take it back down to a 90° angle. Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Drop pad to rest on top of your thighs.

the leg press This machine works your quadriceps, hamstrings, and “glutes”.

the leg curl Your heels should rest on top of the foot pad.

This machine works your hamstrings, the opposing muscles to the quadriceps. You should always work opposing muscles. Set up the weight, back rest, and foot bar as you did with the leg extension. Breathe out as you curl your legs all the way under. Breathe in as you bring your legs slowly back up.


Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Set your weight, lie down and put your feet on the silver plate, with your heels on the line. Your knees must be bent and legs must be at a 90° angle. Push through the heels (don’t lock your knees!), then return to your 90° angle. Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

strength training


a beginner’s workout

My passion for training comes from the opportunity to meet new people and from helping them achieve their fitness goals. My philosophy is that every person can become fit and healthy no matter what their age, size, or shape. Moving on to our upper body, we’re going to start with the “Pec Dec”

the pec dec This machine works your chest and the front of the shoulders. Set the weight and the seat for your height. Sit down with your arms out at shoulder height. Hold the bottom handles. Drop and lead with the elbows. Breathe out as you pull in and breathe in as you go out.

the calf raise

Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

This machine works your soleus muscle, part of the calf. This is a fun one to do - it’s a bit like a rocking horse! Put a weight on the bar that sticks out. Sit down and lower the pads so that they are resting on top of your quadriceps, not your knees. The balls of your feet should be on the silver plate.

the vertical row This machine works your back and the opposing muscles to the chest, the “lats” and the rhomboids.

Remove the lever. Breathe out as you go up and bring your feet flat. Lean slightly forward.

Set the weight and the seat for your height. Sit down with your arms out at shoulder height. Keep your body tall; no swinging when you do this one. Adjust the chest pad if you can’t reach the handles. Breathe out as you pull it towards you, keeping your elbows in and your shoulder blades together. Breathe in as you take your arms forward. Do not overextend your arms.

Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

the shoulder press This machine works your deltoids and your triceps. Set the weight and the seat for your height. Sit down and make sure the handles are above your shoulders, never below. There are two sets of handles; one of them is closer in and you should use those if you have any shoulder problems. Breathe out and keep your elbows soft as you lift up. The white bar should not go past eye level. Do 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions.




Sharon says:

before your workout:

why strength training?

always warm up for 5-10 minutes on a bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine.

helps prevent osteoporosis

during your workout:

aids in stress relief

if 15 repetitions is too easy, put the weight up.

increases your metabolism

during your workout: drink water.

burns fat more quickly

after your workout:

do some abdominal exercises, like sit-ups, crunches, or a plank.

after your workout: stretch!

after your workout: eat protein to help support your muscles.

listen to Sharon’s good advice by scanning the QR code below with your phone or tablet.

correct Match the diagrams below to the e the machine on pages 12 & 13. Writ ram. diag its ve abo name of the machine er. cov t Answer s are on the inside fron






at the gym People at the gym often use abbreviations when talking about their workout or their bodies. Here are some common abbreviations:

Draw a line from the muscles in the list on the left to where they are on the human body.

LATS = PECS = ABS = QUADS = REPS = GLUTES = DELTS = HAMS = TRAPS = Can you guess what these abbreviations mean? What muscles did Sharon’s workout involve? Answers are on the inside cover.

true or false? 1. The leg curl works your quads.

T or F

2. The pec dec works your lats.

T or F

3. A plank is good for the abs.

T or F

4. Your glutes are in your arms.

T or F

5. A set is 12-15 repetitions.

T or F

6. Always work opposing muscles.

T or F

7. The leg press is a free weight.

T or F

8. The soleus muscle is in your chest.

T or F

Answers are on the inside cover.

the weight machines on pages 12 & 13 are part of a “strength training circuit”. Weights that you hold in your hand are called “free weights”.


looking for a place to rent


how many bedrooms do you need?

what area do you want to live in?

photo credit: Downtown by Jerry Ezekiel . All rights reserved by

walk around

Walk around the neighbourhood you are interested in living in. Many landlords post “for rent” signs with a contact phone number or email outside their buildings.


g et ? our bud what is y meet Alex Creighton


rent utitilitie



The most popular sites for finding apartments or houses for rent are:, usedvictoria. com, and When searching online using Google, for example, search “Rentals Victoria B.C.” and property management companies will also show in the search results. A property management company usually manages many rental apartments.

classified ads

These ads are usually in a newspaper, online or in print. Some of the larger landlords advertise in the daily newspaper, like the Times-Colonist. A landlord or landlady is the owner or manager of the rental unit.

word of mouth

Tell your friends you are looking for a place to rent! Many rentals are NEVER advertised and are rented out to friends or people the landlord knows.

ads for rental apartments and houses of ten use these abbreviations: f/s = fridge and stove fp = fireplace n/s = no smoking bdrm/br/bed = bedroom

Alex has over 30 years experience in property management with Devon Properties and her family-run property management company.

how many bedrooms do you need?

furn = comes with furniture BA = bathroom utils = heat and hot water n/p = no pets w/d = washer and dryer


NEXT ISSUE: Looking at a Rental Unit


r . r t y

a . e r

e o o



minding the gap

by Kedsanee Broome

When I went to pick up my daughter at pre - school, the teacher told me a stor y that she claimed was “ver y cute”. It occurred on the school field trip to the Bug Zoo. Af ter seeing all sor t s of bizarre, strange, and fascinating bugs from dif ferent places, the children gathered in the souvenir shop, eyeing all the wonder ful treat s. One of the children noticed that the c andies had real bugs inside them and the following dialogue took place: A girl: “Look! A worm inside the candy!” My daughter: “My mum eats bugs.” According to the teacher, at this point ever yone looked at my daughter Nis a. Some friends were amazed, some were quizzic al, and some thoroughly disgusted. A boy: “Your mum eats bugs?!!” Nis a’s teacher s ays that Nis a’s voice was full of pride when she s aid: “Yes, she’s from Thailand.” Af ter hearing the stor y from the teacher, I turned to my daughter. She was st aring at me with a look that showed how wonder fully exceptional she is to have a mum who st ands out from other mums. I laughed and gave her a kiss. Though, if you ask me how I felt at that moment, I was not overly enthusiastic about being “dif ferent ” at that moment, in that way! I thought, Great! Now they will think I’m weird. I don’t eat bugs! Sure I’ve tried them at the market in Thailand, but to be honest I don’t really like them. Many people do and it is not uncommon, but for me it was a bit embarrassing to be singled out for this charac ter trait even though it was quite amusing to see the reac tions of other s. This stor y reflec t s how I raise my children, who are growing up in a t wo - culture household. It ’s not about whether I eat bugs or whether I like them or not. It ’s about my daughter ’s expression that tells me that she is happy to be dif ferent. It ’s okay to have a mum who eat s bugs. Nothing c an teach her that it is okay to be dif ferent as well as my being okay with it does. Recently, I have t alked to some teenager s who are living in mixedculture homes. Some have just immigrated, some have been here more than 5 year s, and some were born here. Most of them s aid to me that they don’t like being dif ferent. Have you ever felt uneasy about being dif ferent? Are you caught in t wo cultures? As a parent, do you feel caught in multi- cultural parenting? Read Keds anee’s advice on how not to get discour aged w hen negotiating the language and culture gaps in your daily lif e: w w w.heremagazine.c a

Kedsanee Broome immigrated to Canada from Thailand in 2004 and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, specializing in cultural diversity. She is a mother of two and wife of a Caucasian Canadian in a mixed-cultural marriage, raising her children in two cultures.


Wearing the Hijab t he pu bl ic face of Islam

Out be yond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense. -Rumi

These words by Rumi illustrate non-judgment and, like many of Rumi’s ancient poems, are still admired today by many Muslims around the world. Yet when we see Islam represented in the media, the focus is regularly on the hijab, burka or niqab in particular as a symbol of women’s oppression and of Islam’s dangerous extremism. This kind of representation has helped to create a negative image of not just the hijab, but of Islam itself. In Quebec in particular, the polarizing so-called Quebec Charter of Values has ignited a much-publicized outburst of anti-hijab sentiment, sometimes even aggression against women who wear the hijab. For Muslim women in Canada, however, wearing the hijab has many different meanings. In order to understand what the hijab really means to the women who choose to wear it, or not to wear it, it is important to listen to the perspective of Muslim women themselves. The women interviewed here represent just a few points of view on what is a very personal and complex topic.


Meharoona Ghani was born and raised in Canada; she is an activist, scholar, writer, public speaker, spoken word artist and consultant who specializes in diversity. She is also a Muslim woman. Meharoona chooses not to wear the headscarf at this point in her life, but has explored the idea as part of her personal spiritual path. The question that she pondered while she wore the hijab was this: “Does this really bring me closer to God?” In the end, Meharoona decided that it did not. She says that “everybody’s trying to find a way of connecting to a divine being, and divine power; finding their way, finding who they are. That’s what my journey has been, and I realized that the hijab doesn’t bring me closer to God. Maybe for others, it does.” For some Muslim women, the hijab is tied strongly with their faith in God.



Nour Abdella is a young Muslim woman who immigrated to Canada from Egypt as a teenager, and she says that wearing the hijab is a responsibility that she is not ready for yet. She says, “at this point in my spiritual journey, I am not ready yet to undertake such a responsibility and it is not something to be taken lightly. The other thing is, to me, the hijab is the outward symbol of commitment to spiritual growth. It is a commitment to every day strive to be a good Muslim. I do have that commitment and it is quite near and dear to my heart….but it is also a very personal thing; it’s my inner compass that guides me. With the hijab you’re literally wearing it for everyone to see…… people feel the need to judge, label or question you, and you have to be more open to share your spiritual journey; it’s part of the responsibility. I’m a private person by nature; I really don’t think I’m ready for that kind of sharing yet. But, I really hope that one day I will be ready and that I will wear the hijab.”

Another Muslim woman describes her decision not to wear the hijab in terms of her own behaviour.


explains that she doesn’t want to “embarrass” her religion by acting incorrectly in public as a Muslim. She wears the hijab only when she feels that she is acting as a faithful Muslim. She says that when she does wear it, she feels “so proud…because I know I’m doing good.”

by Erin Renwick

Certainly, public behaviour is important for many Muslims, and the hijab is a public statement of one’s faith in Islam. One local Muslim woman describes wearing the hijab as a burden that she is willing to bear.


“The burden that I have wearing hijab is, when I leave the house, I represent not only Muslim women, but Muslims in general. I try to be on my best behaviour. When I put it on when I am getting ready to leave, it’s on my mind, but I’m proud of it…it is a struggle to wear it… I mean I know lots of women that started [wearing the hijab] and no longer do it. I know women that have had negative physical altercations and don’t wear it because of that. They don’t want to bring that upon themselves. To me, my faith in God, my religion is much more important than a hypothetical situation that could happen. This is my town...I don’t feel afraid here.” For this Muslim woman, her hijab has nothing to with repression whatsoever. It is simply an expression of her faith in God, and she wears it not out of fear of what might happen at home if she doesn’t, but in spite of what might happen in public when she does.


Aishah is a newcomer from Malaysia who did not initially wear the hijab when she arrived in Canada for her studies. She says, “I was young and I didn’t want people to judge me a certain way because I was wearing hijab…I was afraid that I might scare some people, so they wouldn’t be friends with me, but deep inside I did have a desire to wear [hijab], but because of how society looks at it, my perception of how people look at it, makes me shy away from it.” Aishah did get over her fear, and has begun to wear the hijab every day. She describes the way that she convinced herself to wear the headscarf. She told herself: “you should just do it regardless of what people might say… you are doing it for the sake of Allah, so even of you are not going to get a job because you are wearing hijab, if you are doing this for the sake of your God, then you should be at peace. You should feel good about yourself, and not worry about what people think.”

The fear of public perception plays into other Muslim women’s decisions whether or not to wear the hijab as well.

For yet another Muslim woman, wearing the hijab is a given.


Maram is a student from Saudi Arabia who has been in Canada for about three years. She has never considered removing the hijab. She says that the “hijab to me is identity for me as a Muslim woman, as a symbol of modesty, and it’s not like non-Muslims think--that we wear the hijab to control the sexuality of men, it’s not like this. I am not forced to wear it. I am here in Canada and I can do what I want.“

And Maram is right. Canada is a country that prides itself on its freedom of choice for citizens and visitors, even when those choices are complex, and cannot be summed up by any news clip, anywhere.


men’scorner about 30,000 immigrant and newcomer men call Victoria home!


F A T H E R partner BROTHER h u s b a n d

ria: o t c i V g in n i l t r set o f s tip sh t op 5 Engli rn #1: lea locals ICA e o t h t o th #2: g ate wi c i n u mm #3: co r luntee o v : 4 # ances h c e k #5: ta

their story ALIREZA (Iran) SULIMAN (Iraq) YIZHONG (China) MAURICIO (Colombia) JUN (China)

average time in Canada: 2 YEARS languages spoken: FARSI, ARABIC, SPANISH, MANDARIN reasons for leaving their home country: CIVIL WAR, POOR SOCIETAL CONDITIONS, LACK OF EMPLOYMENT work experience: AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, GRAPHIC DESIGN, RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT things they miss most from home : FOOD, FAMILY, FRIENDS


With men, if you give them space and time, they are willing to share.

talking with Ali Dadkhah

Iranian immigrant and facilitator of the Inter- Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) Men’s Group

full name:

Alireza Eftekhardadkhah

I could never get my head around hockey fights! It seems like fighting is encouraged and to my understanding, people actually enjoy watching it. This is a strange Canadian custom.

” i If you

meet Ali somewhere, feel free to offer him some Persian pastry - it’s the thing from home he misses most.

for more information about ICA’s workshops and programs, call: 250.388.4726, email:, or visit the website:

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

What is the ‘Men’s Group’? The Men’s Group is a group designed only for immigrant men in Victoria. The group meets once a week for two hours to learn about different aspects of Canadian life and to share their experiences with each other. Every week there is a different theme and every theme is a combination of a guest speaker and some practical activity. Some of the themes so far are: transport, communication, sport, culture, finance, and men’s health.

Why is there a need for the Men’s Group? There are many programs with a focus on women. Even if there is something for men, it is usually a program combined with women. Men need a group for themselves too. The issues men want to talk about are sometimes different from women’s. When they see people in a group with the same background and gender, they are more comfortable sharing and participating. The Men’s Group at ICA is the place where this is possible.

What do you think the men in the group take away from the meetings? One of the main things is that they understand there is a place where they can get help and that they are not alone. The settlement process is not easy - if they know they are not alone and have help, it makes the change easier. They also learn about different aspects of Canadian society in a very practical way.

What are some challenges in the Men’s Group? The first few sessions are a bit challenging. It is difficult to make everyone feel safe enough to share their experience as an immigrant.



Feebets tw

best headline about Canada

10 Ways Canada Has Already Won The Winter Olympics (Canada has a heart of gold. And also just a lot of gold.) February 12, 2014, by Tanya Chen Read the story at our Facebook page:

Newcomer or not , answering some of these questions is a challenge! Taken from the Richmond Public Library’s online Practice Citizenship Test, the questions are samples of what newcomers need to know before they take that all-important next step of becoming a Canadian Citizen. See how well YOU do! answers on inside front cover

SO YOU WANT TO BE A C NADIAN CITIZEN, EH? TEST 1. Give an example of where English and French have equal status in Canada. a. In schools b. In the workplace c. In the Parliament of Canada d. At City Hall

2. What are the Prairie provinces and their capital cities?

a. Alberta (Edmonton) and Saskatchewan (Regina) b. Alberta (Edmonton), Saskatchewan (Regina) and Manitoba (Winnipeg) c. Saskatchewan (Regina) and Manitoba (Winnipeg) d. Saskatchewan (Regina), Manitoba (Winnipeg) and Ontario (Toronto)

3. What is the Queen’s representative in the Territories called? a. Premier b. Governor General c. Commissioner d. Member of Parliament

4. On what date did Nunavut become a territory? a. July 1st, 1867 b. April 1st, 1999 c. June 24th, 1995 d. March 31st, 1949

5. In what industry do most Canadians work? a. Natural resources b. Tourism c. Service d. Manufacturing

6. What are the three parts of Parliament? Read our curated Canada-themed tweets at our Storify page :


a. The Sovereign, Governor General and Prime Minister b. The House of Commons, the Legislative Assembly and the Senate c. The Queen, the Legislative Assembly and the Senate d. The Queen, the House of Commons and the Senate

more practice at:

Citizenship is the key to Canada The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Institute for Canadian Citizenship Co-Founder & Co-Chair I arrived in Canada in 1942, when I was about two and a half years old. My family took refuge here after the Japanese conquered Hong Kong. I am someone that didn’t belong anywhere and I remain someone who understands the everlasting anguish of being forcibly displaced. I am also someone who is proud to be a Canadian citizen. I belong to a country whose welcome is warm and wide, and whose diversity astonishes the world. Like many new Canadians, my journey to Canada wasn’t the easiest, and although my family’s struggle continued when we first arrived, we were welcomed.

Madame Clarkson enjoying the conversation with new citizens, Toronto’s emerging leaders and members of the Order of Canada and Ontario at the ICC’s Order! Order! dinner-discussion series.

Canada is unique in the way we welcome immigrants. We embrace diversity. The arrival of new Canadians makes our country more diverse, more interesting and more capable. Citizenship is central to our immigration policy. When we bring people to Canada as immigrants, we’re choosing them as future citizens. I became a Canadian citizen when I was 10 years old, and with each passing year, I grow more proud to say I belong to a country that is bound together by citizenship. Most Canadians believe everyone – regardless of whether they’re Canadian-born or born elsewhere – can be a good citizen. In Canada, citizenship is equality – there is no such thing as a second-class Canadian citizen. I am proud to have been appointed the first immigrant as Governor General. It was proof that Canada is a place where the sky is the limit, and I wanted to do more to ensure new citizens felt they had the same access to everything Canada has to offer – just as I felt. In 2006, I founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), a non-profit charity that works to ensure our country’s newest citizens feel welcomed and included, and engages all Canadians in active citizenship. The ICC helps create a sense of belonging for all Canadians regardless of whether their family has been here for five years or five generations. I encourage all Canadians to take on the role of active, engaged citizens – it’s the only way our country can continue to grow and succceed.

Canada’s 26th Governor General

Madame Clarkson and Deepa Mehta officially welcoming new citizens at an ICC community citizenship ceremony .

Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Bestselling author with a career in journalism spanning 30 years

To learn more about the Institute for Canadian Citizenship please visit or follow us on Twitter @ICCICC.

2014 Massey Lecturer (speaking in Vancouver October 2014)


Here! Magazine Spring 2014  

A language and culture quarterly for women new to Canada