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P.E.I. welcomes excited new Canadians during citizenship ceremony

Newly sworn in Canadian citizen Dwitya Rulhadi poses with two of the Confederation Players in the roles of John A. Macdonald, left, and Edward Palmer during a citizenship ceremony in Charlottetown on Sept. 1.
Newly sworn in Canadian citizen Dwitya Rulhadi poses with two of the Confederation Players in the roles of John A. Macdonald, left, and Edward Palmer during a citizenship ceremony in Charlottetown on Sept. 1.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Canada is known the world over as a land of peace and opportunity, one that proudly opens its doors to those who dream of a better life.

For more than three dozen people who have been living on P.E.I. that dream became a reality yesterday at a citizenship ceremony at Ardgowan National Historic Site in Charlottetown.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the special citizenship ceremony was hosted by Parks Canada, in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Among the 39 new citizens from 15 different countries was Rabab Ahmed, who came here from Iraq via Jordan.

Ahmed, who first fled her homeland in the early 2000s and made her way to the Island in 2012, said there were several reasons for leaving her home in Iraq.

“First thing, is the circumstances there. Second thing is we were looking for a peaceful place, a good environment, a good culture for my kids, for their future.”
The single mother of four wanted her children to receive a good education and for them to meet people from different countries and to learn about their cultures. She figured Canada would be a good place to settle and said she plans on remaining on the Island.

Rabab Ahmed, originally from Iraq and now a Canadian citizen, spoke during a roundtable discussion about what it means to be Canadian prior to the citizenship ceremony in Charlottetown on Friday.

After being sworn in and receiving her Canadian citizenship, Ahmed was all smiles.

“It’s a great day. We are very happy,” she said. “I feel like me and my kids did a very great step (coming here). It’s very important for us as a family.”

Another woman who received her citizenship, Dwitya Rulhadi, moved from Indonesia to the Island five years ago.

Rulhadi, who works as a baker at MacAulay’s Bakery in Charlottetown, said her husband and two children received their citizenship last year, so she was glad to be able to receive hers as well.

“You cannot explain how it really feels, but I’m very excited and I’m very happy that I’ve finally become a Canadian.”

Two young Islanders who were taking in the ceremony were Rami Kaboush, 9, and his seven-year-old brother, Robbie.

“We are watching my aunt and cousins become Canadian citizens,” said Rami, adding his aunt and cousins were from Syria and he was happy they could now stay on the Island.

Robbie said he was happy for his family and said Canada is a great country.

“In Canada, there’s no war. They moved here because in their country, Syria, there was war and they came here.”
On of the cousins the Kaboush brothers were there to see was Sandy Alrabaa.

Alrabaa said she came to the Island in 2012 because she had family here and said it was important for her family to be together.

It feels “awesome” to now be a Canadian citizen, she said.

“I feel really happy.”

Robbie Kaboush, 7, and his brother Rami, 9, of Charlottetown attended a citizenship ceremony Sept. 1 at Ardgowan National Historic Site to show support to their aunt and cousins who became Canadian citizens.
Kuljinder Singh, originally from Italy, flashes a big smile after receiving his Canadian citizenship Friday in Charlottetown.
New Canadian citizens raise their hands as they swear an oath during a citizenship ceremony at Ardgowan National Historic Site in Charlottetown on Friday.

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