Citizenship ceremony ‘breathtaking’

When I walked into the ceremony, I didn’t know it was going to be so, not only breathtaking but it’s like rejuvenating,” Al Baghdadi said.

He felt very overwhelmed with emotions now that his entire family is Canadian.

“My mom kept talking about how to be a patriot for your land. She was serious about it,” Al Baghdadi said.

His six-year-old daughter Danya was only 30 days old when the family arrived in Kingston, travelling from Bagdad, Iraq, in 2007.

Yasir, one of Al Baghdadi’s six-year-old sons, was on hand at the ceremony to cheer them all on, with Yasir’s twin brother Amar at home waiting for the celebrations to start.

Amar was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age, and Al Baghdadi is very thankful that his twins were born in Canada.

“Amar wouldn’t be able to get such services anywhere else,” Al Baghdadi said. “He is now managing beyond the expectations of all of people involved in his teaching. At first, we lost hope and then the unmatched and huge amount of help we received was amazing. We felt so blessed.”

He said that agencies such as Pathways to Education and Autism Ontario were a godsend, and he doesn’t believe his son would have received that kind of support back in Iraq.

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