“The mountains and rivers always remind me of my hometown, my beautiful childhood, and my friends and family.”
Ayan is a 21-year-old full time student and part-time facilitator for newcomer youth programs. She was awarded a prestigious scholarship to study at Simon Frasier University, which allowed her to migrate from Kenya to Canada. Although moving to Canada by herself and leaving her family and siblings behind was the most challenging experience of her life, it’s her proudest accomplishment. Ayan told me there was a lot to adapt to in her new environment. She noticed, as a Muslim woman in Canada, people would assume “there is always something that's not right in [her] life and I need some kind of saving.” She went on to say “where I come from, neither race nor religion defines people.” Ayan told me she wants to be perceived as “an individual who is compassionate and comfortable with who I am. I don't want stereotypes associated with my race and religion to define me.” Ayan told me her biggest hope is that “change will come and one day all the oppressed groups shall get justice. But we all got to work together to achieve that.”
What is your favourite hobby or pastime?
"I love reading books, photography, hiking, and playing basketball."
What is your favourite quality about yourself?
"My favourite quality would be that I am a kind person who respects and accepts everyone for who they are, I don't judge and I always seek to understand where a person is coming from if we don't agree on something. I will also not stop from calling out a person if they are disrespectful to me or anyone else around me."