Founder, My Halifax Experience and My East Coast Experience
Young immigrants and newcomers to watch
I’m feeling blessed these days. Blessed and grateful!
Almost three years ago, I started this platform so I could give back to the community I love—Halifax. I wanted to tell important stories about what immigrants contribute to our city, and do my part to help attract and retain newcomers.
What I didn’t know then is how much this magazine, and our expanded brand My East Coast Experience, would give back to me. I get to meet and talk to some of the most interesting and accomplished people in the region: people doing amazing things, realizing (almost) impossible dreams, and surviving life’s most challenging circumstances. Some of these people are high-profile, but many are just regular folks, doing what they do best and quietly making a difference.
A comment I hear pretty regularly in my networks is that only a small handful of immigrant and newcomer “success stories” make it to the front pages. I think part of the problem is how we view success—we tend to think of it in terms of measurable achievements in business or public life.
In this issue, we’re taking a moment to highlight stories readers might not have heard about: stories about four young immigrants under 40 taking on important causes, helping others, and spreading their own good fortune and love to others.
These everyday heroes include Dr. Rita Orji, an award-winning professor of computer science at Dalhousie University; Ossama Nasrallah, two-time president of the Saint Mary’s University Student Association; Cynthia Louis, client services coordinator at the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank; and the subject of our cover story, the amazing Mark Saldanha, who at 21 is providing food and friendship to vulnerable people in Halifax through his not-for-profit organization Greater Love.
While we’re on the subject of impressive people, our Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes Awards & Gala is coming up this fall. Immigrants and newcomers from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick who stand out as trail blazers and leaders will be chosen by a distinguished judging panel made up of members from across the region. This important and inspiring program will culminate with a gala celebration on November 2nd, 2018 at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax.
Last, but certainly not least, this is your official Mosaic Festival edition. Mosaic, a family-friendly celebration of culture and diversity in Halifax, takes place Saturday, August 18th on the Halifax waterfront. The festival pairs a vibrant parade of music and dance with a waterfront party of concerts, food, and fun. Inside, you’ll find listings of vendors and entertainment. Don’t forget to pick up your site map to make sure you don’t miss any delicious snacks or captivating performers. Our goal is to make the festival one of Halifax’s essential summer events. Make sure you’re there for the very first Mosaic!
You can see why I’m a grateful man. I get a ringside seat to what I think is one of the most exciting times in the history of this city—a time of growth and change that’s setting a new standard of intercultural caring and sharing. I really am blessed!