Citizenship 'dream' comes true for Thunder Bay woman

Thirty-two new Canadians were sworn in at a ceremony Wednesday morning at Confederation College.
Citizenship Judge Harry Dhaliwal swore in 32 new Canadians from 18 countries at a ceremony in Thunder Bay Wednesday. (Adam Burns/CBC)

Thirty-two new Canadians were sworn in at a ceremony Wednesday morning at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. The new citizens come from 18 different countries, including Italy, Portugal, Armenia and Burma.

Among them was 25-year-old Rawan Saliba. She was born in Canada, but her parents then returned to Israel.

Saliba moved back to Canada seven years ago, and said she's dreamed of becoming a Canadian citizen ever since.

Twenty-five-year-old Rawan Saliba (right) became a Canadian citizen Wednesday morning. Her boyfriend, Moe Khair, attended the ceremony with her. (Adam Burns/CBC)

"It's [a] very peaceful country, and I love that, because in the Middle East we suffer a lot from wars all the time," she said. "This is not something that you find here, so that's great.

"I'm overwhelmed. I'm very happy, very excited. It's been a long journey, and I was looking forward to this day."

Saliba's boyfriend attended the ceremony with her, and used his mobile phone to live stream the swearing-in to Saliba's mother in Israel.

On a day where Thunder Bay is due to be slammed with a major snowstorm, Saliba admitted the weather in northwestern Ontario is "a big challenge."

"But I do prefer to stay here and struggle through this weather, [rather] than live anywhere else,” she said.

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