Canada Day: A Time to Reflect for One International Alumnus
Omar Tag El-Din first arrived in Canada from Egypt in 2012 to finish his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Cape Breton University. Now, looking back on his time in Canada, he reflects on how far he has come all that he has accomplished. Omar is thankful for the opportunity he has had to reinvent himself and make a new home in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
“It has only been eight years since I arrived in Canada, and if you were to ask me then, I wouldn’t have ever dreamt that I would have achieved as much as I have,” says Omar. “This is truly a blessing and Canada Day is the day it all sinks in.”
After graduating from CBU in 2014, Omar continued his studies with an Advanced Diploma in Human Resources from Nova Scotia Community College. He became a Canadian citizen in 2016, and since then, has been working tirelessly with a focus on immigration in Atlantic Canada. Omar currently works with the Cape Breton Partnership, formerly their Project Lead for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, and now their Market Development and Immigration Officer. Omar focuses on fostering inclusive labour market development, aligning skills and creating efficient labour markets, as well as attracting and retaining talent to Cape Breton Island.
“We recognize that we have tremendous talent on Cape Breton Island from those attending CBU and other institutions,” says Omar. “I want to help people – whether they are Canadians, permanent residents or international students – make a life and stay here.”
Earlier this year, Omar was honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Immigrants in the Maritimes. This award, presented each year by My East Coast Experience, recognizes 16 trailblazers and leaders who are making a difference in their communities.
“On the day I was supposed to drive to Halifax to accept my award, there was a blizzard and I thought to myself, how Canadian is that!” Says Omar. “My mother and I drove to Halifax and arrived safely. She was so proud of me and I hope to always make her, and my late father, proud of what I do.”
When asked what kind of advice he would give others who are new to Canada, Omar says: “It can be intimidating for someone to open up and experience a new country and culture whole-heartedly, but that’s exactly what you have to do and there are people and resources out there to help you do that.”
Happy Canada Day!