I’m Fortunate to Call Halifax Home
THE URBAN SCRAWL
The recent events in India, got me thinking about how lucky we are to live in Halifax. While we don’t have bustling subways and streets, and high rise towers, we do have a lot of things that are often taken for granted.
Safety. In Halifax, we have a police force that comes when we call them. In other places in the world, hefty premiums must be paid for these services. We are fortunate to not live in an environment plagued by terrorist attacks, war and large scale crime. In our city, Iranians can be friends with Iraqis and Israelis with Palestinians. We can all live side by side harmoniously.
Freedom. It is hard to imagine what it would be like without freedom, but ask someone who has immigrated to Canada and the picture becomes very clear. Floria Aghdamimehr, is an Iranian immigrant, living and working in Halifax. As a Baha’i from Iran, her family and friends were harassed and discriminated, and because of her religion she was not allowed to attend university. Imagine being in an environment where your beliefs limit your ability to live life freely. In Halifax, every Friday morning there is a “Support the Troops” rally in Grand Parade, and many Saturday afternoons anti-war protests are held in the same location, both offering the opportunity to express opinions freely.
Social Safety Net. With more than half the world living in poverty, we are fortunate to be surrounded by services that can help us get on our feet again. Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, Phoenix House and Feed Nova Scotia, provide opportunities for money, food, shelter and retraining. No matter how you got to Halifax, your social status, or your needs, there are government and charitable organizations there to help you improve your standard of living.
Literacy. How many of us wouldn’t be able to read this very article, if we lived in a place where education was only available to the very rich, and access to literature was limited. While there is room to improve, we are fortunate that our help wanted signs don’t need to include ‘Must be literate’.
This holiday season when you are thankful for being reunited with friends and family, take some time to be thankful for the wonderful country you live in, where we are safe, free, looked after and educated.
Christina Biluk is the Director of Engagement for FUSION Halifax. Visit FUSIONHalifax.ca to find out how you can get involved in shaping our city.