Becoming Canadian

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After a heart attack, a Canadian organ donor saved Mohamad Ghalayini's mom's life

​“My mom isn’t a canadian citizen yet, but the heart she has is the heart of a Canadian.” Mohamad Ghalayini shares his family’s gratitude for Canadian generosity.

The chance for a future together in Canada meant years of separation for the Lopez family

Dana Lopez and her father Dany Lopez were born in Philippines and now live in Toronto. Dana became a Canadian citizen on July 1, 2016 in North York, Ontario.

Being both Mexican and gay, this new Canadian found the U.S. 'melting pot' oppressive

'I couldn’t share all of me, all the time.'

'Some kind of a dream': Aidan and Annabelle moved from Israel to Canada start a family

They heard about the "politeness" of Canada, and Annabelle and Aidan decided to raise their children here. After some reluctance to the move and the cold, Aidan has learned to embrace his new home, even creating his own Canadian bucket list.

Moved by his citizenship ceremony, new Canadian encourages old country to follow suit

"I wanted to let people in Finland know how Canada celebrates its new citizens."
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 6

Petey, 88, is proud of all her accomplishments, including her four-person marriage. Now, she adds her Canadian citizenship to the list. Watch her story and more on episode 6 of Becoming Canadian.
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 5

Gannon came for love. Kallie lost everything when she arrived. This and more on episode 5 of Becoming Canadian.
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 4

Hsa’s family was given a simple choice by his homeland’s oppressive government: flee or die. This and more in episdoe 4 of Becoming Canadian.
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 3

Janice came to Canada and found a job and the love of her life at a Tim Hortons. Abimbola realized his dream of bodybuilding in Canada, something he would never have done back in Nigeria. This and more on the latest Becoming Canadian.

After a life fleeing persecution, Jemal Yonis's family found peace in Canada

Jemal Yonis was born in Ethiopia and now lives in Halifax. He became a Canadian citizen on August 18, 2016 in Halifax. Before Canada, Jemal, his wife and two daughters lived in Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya.

Want more Becoming Canadian? The TV series premieres June 26!

Inspired by the stories of struggle and triumph you've seen on this website and social media? The full Becoming Canadian television series premieres June 26 on CBC-TV and cbc.ca/watch.
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 2

Mohamad left war-torn Lebanon to become a medical doctor in Canada. Mo has a career she never would have imagined possible back in China. After leaving Trinidad, Jerome rediscovered his love of soccer in his new home country. After hearing about the ‘politeness’ of Canada, Annabelle and Aidan decided to raise their children here.
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Watch Becoming Canadian: Episode 1

Rachel was assigned male at birth, but always knew she was a woman. Ellaha came from an educated family in Afghanistan, but was told by the Taliban that girls could no longer attend school. Kerstin grew up trapped inside East Berlin until the Berlin Wall came down. Syed’s mother was six months pregnant with him when an accident killed his father leaving his mother to raise her two sons.
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'Forever grateful:' this new Canadian citizen now feels safe living openly as a woman

Rachel Clark immigrated to Canada from the U.S. and feels Canadians have accepted her as she is.
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For Syed Mukhtar, coming to Canada strengthened his bond with his mother.

“They say I was born blue.” Syed describes the story of his premature birth and being raised by a single mother in Saudi Arabia.
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After a life running from persecution, Jemal Yonis has found peace, acceptance, and security for his family in Canada.

“I received a call and someone told me to leave within 24 hours.” New citizen Jemal Yonis shares his story of escaping persecution in Ethiopia.
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For Hsa Kaw Thaw, Canada has made him feel loved and valued after a life of pain and suffering.

“If we stay we die.” Hsa Kaw Thaw shares his story of growing up in a Thai refugee camp and moving to Canada to escape persecution.
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Annabelle and Aidan sacrificed close relationships with their families to start a family 10,000 miles away in Canada.

“She said if you want to have kids, they’ll be Canadian.” Annabelle and Aidan loved Israel, but Annabelle never felt like she really belonged there.
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Zhen Lui found the kindness of strangers lifted him up just when he needed a helping hand.

“I had two luggage and no one to talk to, and no place to live.” Zhen Lui describes moving to Canada alone as a young student.
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From the age of six, Rhys dreamed of playing in the NHL — from all the way in Wales.

Rhys Thomas’ love of hockey made him feel right at home as a teenager coming to Victoria, B.C. from Wales.
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In Canada, Rachel underwent a profound transformation, and found acceptance.

“I knew I was a girl from a very young age.” Rachel Clark describes her struggles and how Canada gave her life and hope for the future.
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For Mo Lv, becoming Canadian meant choosing between her Chinese citizenship and her new identity.

“In order to become Canadian, I had to drop my Chinese Citizenship.” Mo Lv shares the story of becoming Canadian and being a role model for her son.
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Romulo Lopez has grabbed every possible opportunity in life — even when it meant relocating his family to Regina, Saskatchewan.

“I was so excited because I could start to build the future of my family.” Romulo Lopez has spent his life grabbing every possible opportunity and now owns a chain of successful food franchises in Canada.
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After a heart attack, a Canadian organ donor saved Mohamad Ghalayini’s mom’s life.

“My mom isn’t a canadian citizen yet, but the heart she has is the heart of a Canadian.” Mohamad Ghalayini shares his family’s gratitude for Canadian generosity.
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Tony Sugarman lives in a small town, and when he discovered it didn’t have its own legion, he did something extraordinary.

“People think I’m mad, it’s a small town.” Tony Sugarman describes re-opening the legion in Southey, Saskatchewan to help veterans like himself who suffer from PTSD.