Adjusting to Canadian winters

Justin Crann
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Most Moose Javians are getting ready for business as usual this winter, but for Taha Hasan, who immigrated to Canada from Iraq one-and-a-half years ago, it’s a challenge.

“Before I came to Canada, I read some notices about the weather here,” said Hasan.

“I knew everything would be white. I saw it in movies, but I’d never seen it for real ... the winter in Canada is different than in hot countries.

“When I go outside in the morning, I feel my eyebrows and my moustache freezing,” he said. “When the sun shines, it’s different than in my country. Here in Canada, it doesn’t get warmer. But in my country, in the sunshine, it’s warm, even in the winter.”

Hasan, who lived in Baghdad, said he’d never seen snow before coming to Canada.

“The first day we saw snow in Canada ... we saw everything outside had changed. Everything was white and we couldn’t tell the sidewalk from the street,” he said. “The snow, if you see it through the window, is very nice ... the temperature was too high for snow (in Iraq).”

But the greatest difficulty, Hasan said, is that the Canadian winter is very cold.

“When we came and we heard the temperature might be minus 30, we didn’t know what minus 30 meant,” said Hasan. “‘How do we live in this temperature?’ we thought. But now we know what it means.”

Geographic location: Canada, Iraq, Baghdad

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