My mother would always tell me, ‘Your father would have never wanted you to be like that,’ whenever I came late or whenever I made any mistakes.
I remember it all just clicked when I came here and started to attend SAIT ― I never knew I would even finish my ESL, let alone do my upgrading and then attend SAIT, as all of my friends had dropped out from school. Having a different culture I felt I wouldn’t have time to catch up.
I came to Canada at the age of 17 and those who were the same age already had a different culture, different clothes and different language. I had to choose if I will stay within my community [ with other South Sudanese immigrants ] and lock myself there because I know they understand me or go to school and involve in other community activities and actually face those challenges —that’s the barrier that I was able to break.
If somebody asked me how it was the first day , I think I broke that wall and I saw the big picture, which is understanding and acceptance. You have a community you always belong to, but if you go beyond what you’re used to and begin to understand different cultures, you start finding that you belong there, too.
I never thought I would be here — I never thought I would come to college or sit and represent students.
It has all made me think of what my father said, that you can make something out of nothing. If I had nothing and now I have something, I can only imagine what I can take from here and do.”
Gar Gar, BA ’13 | BBA ’16 | SAITSA President
Editor’s note: Gar Gar’s family is from South Sudan. They immigrated to North Sudan and then to Egypt because of the Second Sudanese Civil War, which took place from 1983 - 2005. Gar came to Canada as a sponsored refugee in 2005. Today, Gar is married and is a proud father of three. He received his Business Administration Diploma in 2013 and Business Administration Degree in 2016 and currently works as the President of SAITSA.