I had the privilege of hosting my first solo exhibition at The Art Space in Maple. which included 72 of my paintings.

    November 1, 2022

36. 37. 3B. 39. 40. 4’1. 42. 43. In December 2018. I had the privilege of hosting my first solo exhibition at The Art Space in Maple. which included 72 of my paintings. It was one of the most successful exhibits the community has ever seen. The positive response thati received from my community was deeply humbling and heart-warming and the event introduced my name to the community. Fortunately. my community continued to invite me to give back through my art. Soon after the exhibition. upon request. I donated a portrait of St Ephraim. a Syrian saint. to a local Catholic school. It is now proudly displayed in the school hallway. It is mainly used during festivities and for educational purposes. Since 2016, I have been a member of Open Space Art Gallery 3. Studios and. as a result, in October 2019. I was asked by the board to host a community paint night to bring the community together and raise funds for the Gailery’s community outreach program. The paint night event was a huge success. filled with laughter and happy participants. ltwas a huge honour for me to host it. As a result. my confidence in my ability to bring peopie together grew significantly and I decided to dedicate more of my time to community- building through my love for the arts. Unfortunately. these in-person art events came. to a halt during the COViD-‘lS pandemic. But in October 2021. 5000 after COVID—’lg restrictions were Iifled. I was approached by the members ofthe Vaughn City Council and asked to oversee a community based art class for seniors. I immediately accepted the offer and now I am a volunteer art instructor for 3 hours every Wednesday night. On January 19. 2021. i donated another painting to an online auction to assist Syrian families displaced due to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The piece was sold for $800 and all was donated to displaced families. I have deeply enjoyed participating in community-building projects and organizing social events for our community. It is a huge honourfor me to be able to give back to my community. i have used my art as a platform to- raise money for various charities. It allows me to share a very important part of my life with people that i love. lam very grateful for how vast and tight-knit my support network in Canada is, as i have very reciprocal and intimate relationships with many of them. For example, two of my best friends. Robin Traynor and Habib Racha I consider brothers from different mothers as we introduce ourselves. I have known each of them for more than19 years and I am very close with their families as well. Both have recently become grandfathers and despite how much this has transformed their lives. we still keep in touch on a weekly basis. I also think of my dear friend Toma Nasirin when 1 reflect on how cherished my support network is. l have known Toma for overa decade and he is the closest thing I have ever had to a brother. Before the onset of the COVlD-19 pandemic. I would see him every week and we still go to many different events tog ether.
44. Beyond providing care to my mother. 1 have also provided care for my sisters’ children. since each of them was an infant. They are currently ages 1?. 14 and 13. While they no longer require the same level of supervision as they did when they were very young. I still maintain my role in their lives and continue to make efforts to be present for them. as I am very close to each of them and will continue to be the loving and reliable uncie which they have come to know me as. 45. I have absolutely no family or friends in Syria. nor have i ever lived there for a significant period of time. I have no means by which i could reintegrate into Syrian society and culture. as i have been away from Syria for most of my life. My identity as a Syrian Christian woutd be easily recognized and likely put me in danger. I am 62 years old. Having to start over in a country that is foreign to me is an unimaginahly difficult and painful prospect. 46. I believe that my circumstances warrant compassion and i am asking that you allow me to remain in Canada. I have done my best. and lam now leading an organized and balanced life. My entire family is here. and they need me as much as I need them. I beg you to grant me permanent resident status in Canada. on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. SWORN BEFORE ME in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario. this 30th day ofjune. 2022, via video conference. with the affiant being tn the Village of Maple In the City of Vaughan in the Province of Ontario. Marina Brown YOSEF MATHAI KHOURY Barrister

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