Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Somali Ex-Refugee Is Canadian Refugees Minister

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Somali Ex-Refugee Is Canadian Refugees Minister

Article excerpt

ON JAN. 10, CANADIAN PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau reshuffled his cabinet. Ahmed Hussen, the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has been a lawyer, human rights advocate and community activist. His new position is all the more noteworthy for his own story.

Hussen replaces veteran parliamentarian John McCallum, who shepherded nearly 40,000 refugees from Syria into Canada duringhis 14 months on the job. McCallum has been appointed ambassador to China.

Addressing reporters outside the House ofCommons after his oath taking, he said, "I am extremely proud of our country's history as a place of asylum, a place that opens its doors and hearts to new immigrants and refugees, and I'm especially proud today to be the minister in charge of that file."

In 1993, Hussen came to Canada alone as a refugee from war-torn Somalia as a 16-year-old. Eleven years later, he was proclaimed a "Person to Watch" in the country's largest city for his community work in Regent Park. …

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