Hamida Faiqe, A General Surgeon from Afghanistan [ Part IV]
Since you mentioned it again, you said you had worked as a Sales Clerk in stores once. Have you ever worked in stores when you lived in Afghanistan?
No. I had never worked in stores before I landed in Canada. It was my first time.
How was it like when you were being a Sales Clerk for the first time?
I must say that my working in stores weren’t at all bad idea after all. As a former General Surgeon however, it was difficult for me not physically but emotionally. I couldn’t help but feel bad and unfair whenever I get to think about the situation in Canada, which there are immediate needs on more medical professionals all the time and I am one of them, but there is no place for me to practice. The thought about my skills and knowledge that I can’t use made me sad from time to time. Anyhow, I always tried to think positively and did not want to cause any troubles in this society; therefore, I was able to work fine in stores. The thing is, after I started working in stores, I became able to support myself financially again at least. That was a big relief.
As for the working conditions in stores, is there anything you want to share such as the salary satisfaction, or any difficulties to adapt?
The salary was not enough to make a living because it was also the minimum wage in Ontario with not enough work hours. Jobs working full times in stores seemed rare. Living on a low-income, you cannot expect anything else but surviving. No secure at all, physically and financially.
Do you believe you would practice again someday in the future as General Surgeon or other health professionals?
Yes, I stick on positive thinking. But I admit that in Canada, it is very difficult for someone like me to get a chance to practice again.
When someone asks what your profession is, how do your respond nowadays?
I avoid revealing as I used to be a medical professional unless it’s necessary. I do not want to mention about it any longer. Whenever I tell someone that I was once a General Surgeon, it reminds me of my past passionately working with patients, and then I get depressed about my current situation that had become out of my hands. I think the barrier seeming too strong to overcome frustrates me sometimes; I thus stopped mentioning about it one day.
Have you ever regretted of the immigration to Canada?
Over all, living in Canada is good because it is a peaceful nation compare to Afghanistan. But, yes, there were moments when I looked back and missed what I had in my country. If I had kept living in Afghanistan, I could’ve saved a lot of lives with my medical skills and knowledge and accomplished many things in my field for last ten years.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your persistence making constant effort to better future truly impressed me. Lastly, is there anything that you would like to add? or do you have any advice to other medical professionals who want to immigrate to Canada?
I would advise them to be positive all the time and to think about our future instead of what we were in our past. I believe we should continue and devote ourselves to overcome the barriers to achieve more than before.