This man who is grilling sausages at some distance from the picnic table not to smoke up the other guests is named Abdel. He did not want to be photographed, but was willing to do a little chat with me. A photo blog being a sad thing without pictures, we found a common ground leading to this pose from the back.
While keeping an eye on the grill and serving his friends, he gave me a few moments. The important thing was not to let the lunch burn!
Abdel was born in Morocco in the Marrakech region. He arrived in Canada in his late twenties as a law graduate. Landed here on a student visa, he continued his studies long enough to regularize his immigration application and to realize that it would be difficult for him to practice here. His area of expertise was Business Law.
He then worked for many years in the kitchen of restaurants of European culinary tradition. These jobs being somewhat difficult for his health however, he gradually returned to his original field of interest. He now advises newcomers through their immigration procedures.
Abdel will soon have spent half of his life in Montreal. It is on this island that he met his wife, also of Moroccan origin. Their children were born here. If, like many newcomers, he initially lived in Côte-des-Neiges, the family now lives in St-Laurent, where a good part of the North African community also resides. The possibility of finding a roof in a housing cooperative was an additional factor in the choice of this district.
It's while eating a grilled sausage sandwich offered by Abdel that I left the Raimbault Park, where the swirling smoke of barbecues scented the air of a beautiful late summer Sunday.