first_imgIt was midnight and Fady Nashat was exhausted after a trip to the United States. He waited as an immigration officer reviewed his documents at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. “And he just said, ‘Welcome home’ and that really hit me,” Nashat recalls. He is proud to call Nova Scotia home. With help from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, Nashat became a permanent resident of Canada in 2009. His journey began in 2007 when he left his family and friends in Cairo, Egypt, to spend his final year of undergraduate studies at Cape Breton University. He had completed the first three years of the Bachelor of Technology Information (Information Management) degree in Cairo at the Canadian International College, which partners with Cape Breton University. “I wanted to see what it feels like to go in a different country, speak a different language all the time, to communicate with different people, get out of my comfort zone and reach out and see what’s out there in life,” he says about his decision to study abroad. Nashat arrived on campus in time for frosh week, beginning what he calls “the best year of my life.” “I can’t imagine how many people I met just through that frosh week,” he says. “Cape Bretoners, and there were so many people from around Canada, too … So we were all kind of away from home, but in home. “Cape Breton was a really nice spot because people there are very, very welcoming. They really spend the time with you. I feel like in huge cities this luxury doesn’t exist.” Nashat has also found a strong sense of community in Halifax. The certified project management professional is a project co-ordinator at NTT DATA Canada, Inc., formerly Keane, Canada, Inc. “I always call working at my job the superman department,” he says, describing how it follows projects from start to finish for NTT DATA clients. Nashat’s role includes software development. He gets to focus on the hardware side in his part-time work as an IBM technician lead for Kelly Services. In addition to his busy work schedule, Nashat makes time for studying, volunteering and going out with friends. “If we’re not learning every day, there’s no progress,” says Nashat, whose future plans include becoming a senior project manager. He successfully completed the IT Infrastructure Library Foundation Examination and, also earned the credential of Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. Nashat happily shares what he’s learned with the community. He’s drawing on his project management skills as event chairman for the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Run for Diabetes – Halifax. He also volunteers as a “connector” with the Greater Halifax Partnership’s Halifax Connector Program where he helps newcomers make professional contacts in their field. Nashat is giving back after benefiting as a participant. And giving back is something that comes naturally to Nashat. The children camp volunteer at the Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint Mena in Halifax gives thanks to his family for the lessons they taught him, the faith they instilled, and the time they spent with him as he grew up – all of which, he says, are fundamental to the person he is today. “I believe that every person has a purpose and that’s why we’re very diverse … I feel if I’m not utilizing what I have who will? And then the world will be missing one person or one character or one skill. But if everybody put their two cents in and provided what they can be giving, then this world would be a lot better.” Cape Split hiking, Graves Island camping, and deep sea fishing are just some of the summertime activities Nashat has embraced. “I don’t need to travel to go for a vacation,” he says. “I spend my vacation where I am.” Nashat also appreciates the architecture in Halifax, its ocean views and his short commute to work. When asked why he chose to stay in Nova Scotia after completing his degree he was quick to answer. “It was hard for me not to. I’ve seen so much that I couldn’t say no. I’ve seen what the people are like here, how beautiful the environment is, how clean and empty the streets are … I’ve built a lot of friendships here in Nova Scotia and built a really great community.” -30-last_img read more

Speaking at the launching at UNICEF House of the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre’s “Human Development in South Asia 2004: The Health Challenge,” UNICEF Deputy Director Rima Salah said, “The statistics are shocking. One out of every three child deaths occurs in South Asia.”“Two-thirds of the malnourished children live in the region and infant mortality is still high. In a region where high mortality and morbidity rates battle to rob children and women of their full potential – every day, the focus on health could not be more appropriate or timely,” she added.The report graphically captures the strong link between poverty, gender inequity and the poor survival rates and wellbeing of the region’s children and women. A poor child often will not be immunized or go to school, most likely will be malnourished, lack access to clean water and be prey to exploitative practices that jeopardize their wellbeing and most of them will be girls, Dr Salah said.As countries make an effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including halving extreme poverty and hunger, offering universal education and combating major diseases by 2015, a narrow focus on sectoral issues is no longer the solution and, indeed, could be part of the problem, she said. “In laying out the multi-sectoral approaches needed to ensure progress, the publication makes a valuable contribution in our way forward.”Former senior UN Development Programme (UNDP) official Mahbub ul Haq was the chief architect of UNDP’s annual “Human Development Report” as a way to look beyond gross national product (GNP) and income at the multi-dimensional impact of wealth and poverty on such issues as health, education and gender equality.Dr. Salah said UNICEF, partnering with Governments, civil society and other UN agencies, has invested in South Asian health and nutrition for five decades.“After nearly a decade of monumental immunization campaigns, reaching over 150 million children under age 5, we have seen dramatic increase in the rates of fully immunized children rising from 5 per cent in 1980 to about 65 per cent in 2004. This increase in coverage has laid the foundation for polio eradication, neonatal tetanus elimination and measles reduction for which South Asia can be justifiably proud today,” she said.The adult HIV prevalence in South Asia is below 1 per cent, but is still 5.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 5.1 million of them in India, she said. India is considered the epicentre of the South Asian epidemic and the second largest worldwide in terms of number after South Africa with 5.6 million.There are now 300 centres offering programmes to prevent HIV infection in young people and mother-child transmission, however, Dr. Salah said.“Our hope in UNICEF is that this publication will strengthen the process of ‘dialogue for action’ with all stakeholders in human development and that these discussions are translated into more concrete policies, strategies and funding for the improvement of the lives of the women and children in Asia,” she said. read more