Alaa's Story :
My name is Alaa Eshhadeh. I’m from Syria, and I came to Canada in February 2016.
What grade are you in? What is your favorite subject and why?
I go to Keith Wightman Public School, and I’m in grade 5. I like all subjects, but my favourite is gym class, because I get to play with my friends, learn new games, and stay active. I like to play
soccer, and run — physical activities in general. I loved learning to play Dodgeball and Taekwondo.
Is that where you first learned Taekwondo?
No, the first time I learned Taekwondo was in Queen Mary Public School about a year and a half ago.
Why did you decide to pursue Taekwondo?
The first time I tried it, I knew that if I continued I would eventually be able to become strong and learn self defense. I feel good when I play Taekwondo, and I feel safe when I can defend
Have you enjoyed living in Canada so far? What do you like about Canada?
Yes, I love living here! I love that there are rules, and everyone is nice and friendly, and most importantly, respectful.
Things wouldn’t work without rules, and we wouldn’t be as friendly to one another. That’s another reason, I like Taekwondo: the rules, the discipline, and my ability to defend myself.
What is your dream job?
I haven’t thought about my dream job yet, but when I grow up I want to run a marathon. It is my goal, because from a young age I liked to run, and I like to challenge myself.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I don’t want to change anything in the world. What I want to do is give parents advice: Let your kids try martial arts, like Taekwondo or Karate. Let them at least try it once, and if they like it,
they can keep going like I did. It’s a physical activity that makes you feel good, and helps with your overall well being.
Alaa’s mother added: In Canada, there are a lot of centres offering opportunities, support, and programmes for children. That’s why we sent her to Taekwondo, and she fell in love with it. Her
teachers and mentors encourage Alaa to excel, and they support her. She began attending competitions, and has won first place almost every time. Alaa is a very brave and hardworking