Aatif Baskanderi, pictured with his wife, Nazia, will tour the province to tell his story of growing up as a Muslim Newfoundlander next month.
©Aatif Baskanderi (Facebook)
He’s planning to do so across the province next month.
Baskanderi, who moved to Clarenville with his parents and siblings at the age of five after his father took a job at the Come By Chance refinery, has dubbed the event the Salaam B’y Newfoundland Tour.
“I come from a place where few people look like me, or believe in the same things as me,” he wrote in a Facebook post about the tour.
“In spite of those differences, my community always accepted and encouraged me, leading to my unwavering sense of belonging to Newfoundland and driving me on an interesting life journey,”
Baskanderi has worked and volunteered with various engineering, government, and not-for-profit organizations across Canada, United Kingdom, Palestine, and Sierra Leone. He now lives in Calgary, Alta. with his wife, Nazia, who will be accompanying him on the tour, along with his parents.
“I believe Newfoundland carries a level of sincerity, respect and appreciation within its character that breeds the capability to create great change in the world,” he wrote.
“Now, I am returning to my home province to share my story for everyone today who feels different, sometimes anxious, and highlight how Newfoundland showed me and others a way to build communities of love and respect that can build people up in great ways.”
Event tickets are free with the opportunity to donate to selected local charities or causes in each location. There will also be a question and answer session at each event.
The dates are as follows: Grand Bank (Sept. 18), Gander (Sept. 19), Bishop’s Falls (Sept. 20), Corner Brook (Sept. 21), Clarenville (Sept. 26), St. John’s (Sept. 27) and Bell Island (Sept. 28).
You can read a Facebook post by Baskanderi about his life here.