COR Stories: Amr Eisa’s Journey to Canada and to COR

Amr Eisa is a Canadian with origins from Sudan. As part of his studies at the University of Regina, Amr joined COR as a practicum student in 2022. Amr’s parents were born in Sudan and moved to Regina when Amr was only 8 years old.

After moving to the UK for a short time, Amr’s parents set their sights on Regina. “I’ve had the pleasure of being able to go back to Sudan and spend summers there periodically, and I feel the main reason they chose to immigrate was to give a better life for their children,” said Amr. He also mentioned that his parents moved to Canada to have a peaceful life. Being safe is an important foundational layer upon which we build our lives. In places where geopolitical unrest is prevalent, this sense of safety can be threatened. “Again, when we are in circumstances of insecurity, it is often tough to reach one’s potential. My parents found it important that their children had a sense of autonomy over their lives, thus, they set out to a place where this would be possible” shared Amr. He also believes with autonomy comes opportunity, allowing one to have much more avenues to achieve what they deem success. If you ask any immigrant why they choose to move to another country, the answers they will give most often are for a peaceful life and to have more opportunities to succeed. Canada remains one of the countries where people still have a good quality of life.

The journey of immigrating to Canada was quite lengthy and difficult for Amr’s parents. Depending on where you are born and type of agreement your country of origin and Canada have impacts the length and complexity of the immigration journey.  “Being the eldest child, I’ve been able to witness the immigration process of some of my relatives and I can attest to that sentiment! It seems like a lot of paperwork, forms and medical exams need to be done before immigrating to Canada,” said Amr. According to Amr, the welcoming nature of the Canadians made it worth it!

Amr shared that his experience with schooling in Canada has been great. “I went to a smaller school from Grade 2 to Grade 12, where I was able to connect with many other people of different backgrounds, but similar faith. I think this is also part of what made it easier to adapt to Canada – finding people who I could relate to” shared Amr. Many of the friends Amr made in elementary school are still some of his closest friends today.

Being a young boy when he moved here, the biggest shock was the differences in the hobbies of the other children of his age. Coming from the UK, he absolutely loved soccer, but Amr quickly learned that other kids were more enamoured with football, basketball, and hockey. It took a little while but he eventually grew to widen his horizons in terms of sports and hobbies. “I believe a big part of adapting is having the desire to immerse yourself within the community. By being present in the community and seeking out new experiences and relationships, you will eventually find where you can fit in” shared Amr.

Out of all the culture shock, the weather was definitely the hardest to adapt to for Amr. “I believe I am still adapting to it! The culture was super easy to adapt to – I find that people in Canada love to talk about their background, whether they are native to Canada or not. Learning about the many cultures present within Canada and also being given an opportunity to teach about my culture made the adaptation seamless” shared Amr.

Amr has one regret though, he wishes he would still have the British accent, but with the years of being here in Canada he has lost the British accent. Amr also attended the UofR and got his Bachelor in Kinesiology; he really enjoyed his time at the university and made many friends.

Amr is very grateful for the choice his parents made to immigrate to Canada. “The people here are wonderful, welcoming, and open-minded. The landscape is vast and scenic, and the opportunities are endless” mentioned Amr. “I feel very lucky to grow up in an environment in which many different cultures are present. I think being surrounded by a variety of people worked wonders to opening my mind and enriching my worldview”.

Amr also confessed that he has never experienced overt racism. However, he is aware of others’ experiences and it is definitely something that is still present in our society. “I believe it is important to remember that with connection and conversation, minds can be changed” shared Amr.

Amr initially did his fieldwork with Ben Morris at the COR Studio last summer which was a super enjoyable time according to him. Amr shared that Ben was a big part in showing him how to transfer skills and passions he already has in activities he was creating; while also giving Amr constructive criticism on how to improve. “Ben and the folks at the studio played a huge role in welcoming me to COR and finding out where I fit in. From helping out at the studio, assisting at Short Breaks, and facilitating a mindfulness class, it felt great to build genuine relationships with the folks that COR supports. After completing my fieldwork, I had no choice but to apply to be a support worker! I found a niche where I can help people be the best version of themselve while fostering connections “shared Amr.

Amr believes in the world we live in, organisations like COR are absolutely vital. “Being a part of an organisation that challenges the status quo and our current care model is amazing! It seems that the ‘human element’ is something that is overlooked in providing care/support”. “COR, with its philosophy of gentle teaching not only includes the human element, but emphasizes it. The genuine relationships built within COR are a testament to this! I am very lucky to be supporting with COR” shared Amr.

Amr sees himself continuing his journey through academics while continuing to build relationships with the CORfam!

Thank you, Amr, for choosing COR, we are happy and grateful that your parents choose Canada. Having you part of our organization only enhances it and we hope you continue to build both professional and personal relationship here at COR and with the CORfam.

Written by Joana Valamootoo