New Conversations NB Event to talk about successful integration in our community

Continuing the Conversation on Immigration & Building our Workforce

Mostafa Aboelneil boasts an extensive resume from working with an Egyptian government think tank to Netflix, Syngenta and Morovia IT.  He was drawn to Saint John because he heard about its growing IT sector, supportive community and the welcoming nature of Maritimers.  With a decade in digital design and the IT industry, he’s not only a great candidate for work, but he’s also been welcome addition in other parts of the community.

“I have provided digital literacy training program for Arabic speaking newcomers through the SJMNRC. I’ve participated in the Workplace Mentorship for Newcomers Program at Prude. There are many professional newcomers who are willing to join our community in Saint John, all they need is the chance to be more engaged into the community.” says Aboelneil.

Osama Ibrahim agrees. The software developer moved from Egypt to Saint John in January, encouraged by a Population Growth recruitment mission that was in his country in 2017, on behalf of the province.

He struggled initially to find work but then realized he needed to connect more through community events and volunteering.

“Some people say that the Canadian culture is the barrier, others say it is the language, but I believe it is the acceptance. Citizens should understand that newcomers are adding value to the city not taking from its resources. I was fortunate enough to attend some community events where I met many people. I can honestly say that Saint John people are one of the kindest people I ever met, and their willingness to help is endless,” adds Ibrahim.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council wants to share more newcomer experiences like this with people across the province. The successes and the challenges newcomers are facing when it comes to integration and acceptance. New Conversation events have been going on across the province in 15 communities. Saint John will host its event on May 15th at Port Saint John’s Marco Polo Terminal from 6-9 pm.

It will feature a panel discussion with employers and newcomers, roundtables and a presentation from economist David Campbell about the data that is driving the need for more immigration to our province. Innovatia Inc. co-founder, Roxanne Fairweather, knows the topic is an important one and will be sharing the employer perspective.

“We are a global company serving Global Fortune 500 Companies, it is common sense to build a diverse and multi dimensional workforce which reflects the diversity of those we serve. It also ensures that we build a more intrinsic understanding of other cultures. They add dimension to our company as we build more global clients, yet do not dilute in any way, from local recruitment,” says Fairweather.

That has meant both Osama Ibrahim and Mostafa Aboelneil were both hired with Innovatia where their skills are needed and appreciated.  Aboelneil will share his experience as a newcomer at the event on Tuesday and is hoping it will be a valuable connector between other newcomers and New Brunswickers.   He knows from experience those connections go far beyond just finding a job.

“I’m very proud that my oldest son will join UNB next year, and my daughter is actively participating at the Imagine NB: Empowering Young Leaders by the NB Multicultural Council, and my wife is attending the Child Care programme hosted by the YMCA,” says Aboelneil.