Maryam Monsef celebrating her victory in the October 19th, 2015 federal election

Maryam Monsef, Afghan refugee to MP


Maryam Monsef was elected Monday as the new Liberal MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, a lake-region in Ontario.

The first woman Member of Parliament from the riding, and at age 30, the youngest-ever, Monsef’s is also an amazing story, as a refugee from Afghanistan.

“This is a night to be happy – we worked really hard for this,” she said, during her victory celebration at Showplace Peterborough late Monday night.

She thanked her mother, first and foremost, Suri Basir-Monsef, who’s been by her side at every campaign debate and event.

Monsef fled her native Afghanistan in 1996, when she was 11, with her mother and sisters Mina and Mehrangiz (both of whom were at the victory party). The family first went to Iran where they were not welcome.

Then Suri Basir-Monsef, a widow, brought her three daughters to Canada settling in Peterborough where her brother was living.

“It is not easy raising three girls – three very strong-minded girls as a single mother,” Monsef said. “But she did it. And she did it in a country like Canada, where someone like me – 20 years later – can step up here.”

“You showed me what courage is about,” Monsef said to her mother. “I thank you.”

Maryam Monsef, in an interview on CBC Radio today, shared her memories of the challenges of that first year. She said she wanted to go home everynight, but eventually, due to the kindness and warm welcome from neighbours, the family settled happily in the small city 140 kilometres from Toronto.

Posted in Economy, Immigration & Refugees, International, Politics, Society

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3 comments on “Maryam Monsef, Afghan refugee to MP
  1. Avatar Jean-Philippe says:

    Canadians deserve better than foreigners without significant skills or achievements as their rulers. The Canadian state should exist to support and maintain actual Canadians’ pursuit of freedom and happiness, not take resources and freedoms away from them in order to push a globalist agenda that empowers a select few privileged person like Mariyam Monsef.

  2. Avatar amir says:

    HEllo ,i am a painter from iran ,i like to contact with you ,thanks i am waiting artist amir from iran

  3. First and foremost-Congratulations on your most acceptable victory and the warmest of welcomes from me to all of your family-around the time you were settling into and trying to adapt to your new HOME, I met, interacted with and was adopted into an Afghani family, whom I grew to love-I worked diligently with them and other Afghani’s to become citizen’s of Canada-what an honour for me! I say this because in the 1980’s, while in Afghanistan under the auspices of the UN, I was welcomed, accepted, hidden from the Taliban while touring the country and meeting such wonderful people. This was my way of paying back a little bit-a short page in one of the most interesting adventures of my life.