Meet Dima: Fleeing from the war in Syria to build a life of resilience in Calgary

When she was only three years old, Dima had an accident that left her permanently disabled. Growing up in a small Syrian town, she didn’t receive a lot of support, with many viewing a life of disability as one not worth living.

Dima disagreed.

After graduating from high school, she moved, found a job in Damascus, and began frequenting a gym for athletes with disabilities. Ten years later, she was an international table tennis gold medalist, met her husband, Osama, and they soon welcomed two boys into their family.

When war broke out in Syria, Dima’s family fled to Turkey. In 2017, they relocated to Ontario before moving to Calgary in 2021—where Dima contacted Immigrant Services Calgary for support.

Working with her Gateway Planner, Dima shared goals for her future and was referred to programs that could help her and her family—and applied for Canadian citizenship.

Dima and her family are now building the lives they envisioned for themselves, thanks to the support from Immigrant Services Calgary.

“Moving from one province to another was difficult for me, especially because of the language barrier,” says Dima. “My Gateway Planner made things easy. The services Immigrant Services Calgary provides are excellent and make it easier for newcomers to adjust to their new life.”

💙Be inspired by the real-life journeys of newcomers who have thrived with our support