As you might expect, it sometimes takes a little discussion before winning the trust of the people I meet. For Abdelkarim and Zineb, things were simple. They spontaneously agreed to participate to my project. Zineb even graciously offered me some mint tea with homemade baklavas.
It was a real hot day when I met them at the Ile-de-la-Visitation Nature Park. Sitting on the grass in the picnic area with their son Seddick, they were finishing dinner. They say they plan to visit various parks in the area during the summer to know their neighbourhood better. The river is obviously not their beloved Mediterranean, but there still are beautiful parks along the shore in our area.
Abdelkarim lived for a couple of years in France, where he studied in engineering up to the master’s level. Like other people I've met, he then came to Quebec in the hope of better job prospects. To put the odds on his side, he even went back to university in his field in order to obtain a local degree. It was through a friend that he heard of Ahuntsic. He arrived here with his Québec selection certificate in hand. He was lucky to get through immigration procedures quickly and is now a Canadian citizen.
Abdelkarim was born in Algiers, his wife, Zined, in Djelfa. It was during a trip to Algeria that he met Zineb. Their relationship then developed via internet. Zineb joined him here two years ago and held a job briefly before her pregnancy progressed. Little Seddick, who is beginning to stand with the help of his parents, will soon make his first steps alone. He was born here in the summer of 2014.
Freshly graduated from Polytechnique, Abdelkarim is actively looking for an electrical engineering job. He told me he is ready to move to wherever a job will take him. Proofs of his will, he recently made exploratory visits to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Shawinigan through the organization Place aux jeunes en région. They said they like living in Quebec, but with a young child to bring up, the couple would consider moving to Alberta if Abdelkarim does not find a job here quickly.
I felt that Abelkarim and Zineb were very open-minded and strongly willing to build their future here with us. I hope that a Québec employer will also appreciate these good dispositions!