Friday, 31 January 2014

Meet "Bashir"

My friend Maz started talking to me & Bashir individually about each other, and he was very keen to put us in contact as he felt we have some common interests like digital & mobile marketing, and since Maz was away most of the week, I agreed with Bashir to meet for a coffee in a beautiful cafe close to me "Dineen Coffee"..
I love this charming cafe and been coupe of times so far, and it's one of places where I felt I can go every day..
Bashir was slightly late, so I enjoyed my tea while waiting for him and once he arrived, as usual we started talking about my move and my plans for work and for studies and then Bashir started with lots of passion telling me about the business he's trying to establish in Mobile Marketing and about the company he launched Lokannounce and true I'm not much into the technical details but he tried to made me understand the step by step of Hylotrak (Hyper Local Track) he can offer to his customers..
We discussed the potential of working together and me helping him with the branding for his startup and that's a good opportunity for me as well to start building my Canadian experience and growing my freelance portfolio..
It was a very positive first meeting with Bashir, and for sure it won't be the last.. So thank you Maz.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Meet "Dr Shafiei"

After few weeks of moving to Toronto, everyone told me that I have to find a family doctor for every time I’ m feeling sick or I have any medical issues and he can refer me to a specialist when needed..
So I managed to find Dr Chen, and after a visit to the clinic I had to fill the usual documents and a list of my medical situation and if I have any pain or any special conditions..
It was very obvious that I highlight the top of my physical problems which is my neck and shoulder pain caused from bulging discs, and I’ve been suffering for years and the pain is only increasing..
Few days later, I received a call from the clinic offering me a complementary consultation with their Chiropractor, Dr Shafiei.. so I hesitated first if I should go as I tried all type of treatments in Dubai and so many sessions with physiotherapists, chiropractors and physicians with lots of medications and anti inflammatory, and not to forget the crazy amount of money I paid without any results.. but then I thought I have nothing to loose if I meet with the Doctor and hear his point of view.
After an hour with Dr Shafiei, I was impressed by his ability to listen and to understand my situation and more importantly my frustration, and I decided to give it a shot and try couple of sessions with him.. where we discussed the different options and how he would like to mix different treatments together..
I did so far 4 sessions, and the good news is that I’m finding slight improvement especially the days when I do the session, and I know that after all these years a miracle can’t happen overnight, but as far as there is some improvement and comfort  I’m happy, but I’m happy more of meeting Dr Shafiei and see that there is still doctors who are humans and they really care about their patients and do their best to make a difference.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Meet "Yasmine"

After couple of days from moving to Toronto I received a message on Facebook from my dear friend Carole G. Putting me in contact with one of her close friends from the days she used to live in Cairo.. And she insist that we meet as she was sure that we have many things in common especially our love for art.. So we messaged each others couple of times until Yasmine asked me if I' m interested in attending a nude sketching class with her at OCAD, and my answer without hesitation was "of course" even though I wasn't sure if I was still able to do proper sketches and I felt it's a pity to lose that skill as the last time I did it was long time ago at the fine art school in Lebanon.
So went to a library got a sketchbook, a pencil and went to meet Yasmine in a very cold night at OCAD..
It was a pleasure meeting her and get to know her and discuss our backgrounds and she gave me some tips for my move and about her experience so far in Toronto since she moved from Cairo, Egypt and we kept talking until we had to stop our conversation the minute the class started.. Every week is a different model, and that night it was a male nude model.. And I got reminded that I have to hit the gym as soon as possible :).. It was a great feeling to be in a class again surrounded by very talented students and artists who some of them blew my mind with the sketches they did in the very short time we had for each sketch..
We both left before the end of the 3 hours class, as I was tired and Yasmine had a long way to commute back home.. But I was glad meeting her and I felt she will be a good friend and I'll be seeing her for sure again and again..

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Meet "Doris"

Walking in St Clair, it was 11:20 in the morning, but I don't know why I felt starving, so I spotted a Chinese restaurant, Kwan, Dim Sum & Chinese cuisine.. that at least the interior looked nice to me and decided to have a bite there.. I was freezing outside and had to wait 10 min for them to open so I was their first costumer for the day..
Doris was the waitress that welcomed me and asked me to sit wherever I feel like.. The place was still empty.. So it felt nice to get all the attention.. She gave the menu and helped me to pick some nice stuff she recommended.. She was so friendly to a point I almost felt like I m not having lunch alone, but rather with a good friend.. she's born and raised in Canada and started working at Kwan 2 month ago since the opening of the restaurant, as it seems that place was a French restaurant for years and years and it's only few month ago that someone bought it and turned it to a Chinese one.
The food was delicious and felt full but couldn't resist her best recommendation.. the dessert, the tiny Bees with Almond.. I m sure she knew I have a sweet tooth.
Thank you Doris for this enjoyable experience and for sure I' ll be back to indulge in more yummi food and charming smiles.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Meet "Toronto"

After almost 10 years in Dubai, the city that is considered by many people the wonderland of the 21st century, and after waiting for 7 years to get my immigration visa to Canada, I decided to leave everything behind.. A great job with Leo Burnett, amazing friends, a beautiful apartment and a life full of ups and downs but was a fantastic 10 years of my life.. I decided to leave and move to Toronto, (and maybe only Lebanese people can understand this urge of leaving and looking for a better tomorrow in a more stable place) to embark in a new journey, to look for a new adventure and discover a different world.
Obviously every move has its challenges, and a key challenge is to get to know the culture, the people, the city and adapt fast to the social environment.. And usually having friends or family can help a lot, and I was lucky to have a cousin who lives very close to Toronto and she with her husband showed me lots of support from the minute I landed.
Now after few weeks, I moved to my new apartment, started my class in Digital Communications Strategy & Social Media at University of Toronto, and will start soon the job hunt.
And to get to know Toronto up close & personal I m taking this challenge of meeting a new friend every single day.
A friend can be my new barber, a waiter in a restaurant who made me feel welcomed and pushed me to visit again or a new Canadian artist that I discovered or a place that I felt I ll be visiting often and of course all the new friends that I hope some of them will be close friends and for many many years to come.