Every refugee has a story of perseverance. For Aman Ali, it all began at a young age in a northwestern city of Iraq. Amman Ali’s youth was spent carefree playing with friends. But one morning, Amman woke up with a high fever and excruciating pain in both of his legs. A doctor diagnosed Amaan with polio and told his father that Amaan’s legs were paralysed and that he would never walk again. Amaan was resilient and learned how to work in his family business with the disability. He pressed on in order to support his family of 5. But just as things started to look up, Iraq was invaded. The radio stations blasted news of death and bombings which spared very few schools and very few hospitals. All sense of security was lost and Amaan feared for his family. As the years went by, Amaan somehow managed to drown out the noise of bombs falling on his city but he wasn’t able to quiet the noise in his head.

When Amaan heard about Canada accepting Iraqi refugees, he knew he had to take the opportunity. What’s more, he heard that people with disabilities receive a lot of support from the government. In September 2016, the Canadian government accepted Amaan Ali’s application to resettle in Vancouver, British Columbia. They gave him permanent residency and provided him basic necessities. Due to his disability, Amaan found it difficult to get around the city. When Aspire caseworker Yusuf Khan took up Amaan’s case, he knew getting Amaan a reliable means of transportation would be life-changing. Yusuf helped Amaan sign up for a shared ride service for people with disabilities.

Thanks to Yusuf’s help, Amaan could now comfortably commute to his English classes, see his doctor and get food from the Muslim Food Bank. “I could see the happiness in his eyes.”, said Yusuf. “It gave him freedom because without that he was stuck in his room.” Moreover, Yusuf felt that he could relate to what Amaan was going through. He himself had immigrated to Canada as an Afghan refugee and recalled the help he had received from MFBCS. “I will never forget the support we received and always wanted to repay that somehow,” Yusuf said. “With the Muslim Food Bank, I got that chance.” Amaan has been in Canada for over a year and a half now. He takes the ride service bus every day to attend English classes. Once he becomes a bit more fluent, he will look for a job. Finding a job will mean a great deal to Amaan. It will mean getting his family out of a war zone. It will mean being reunited with his wife and three kids.

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