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The Living Library Project

The Living Library Project aims to share human stories of immigration and integration.

The Living Library features four newcomers with unique and compelling stories of transition, settlement, and belonging. Organizations and individuals can book a featured newcomer to share their story at a gathering, staff event, or classroom and learn more about their newcomer experience and culture. The Living Library will introduce new speakers and stories every four months.

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Get to know our speakers below and more about their stories. Speakers can be booked for speaking engagements beginning October 1.

To book a speaker, please contact Bhisham: bhisham@nccpeterborough.ca or (705) 743-0882.


Speakers & Stories

alana-lee-headshot-corporate-business-photography-NCC-peterborough-staff-photos Bhisham

Bhisham K. Ramoutar

3 Countries. 5 Cities. 11 Houses. A Journey in Redefining "Home" and "Belonging"

Bhisham has been an immigrant for as long as he can remember. It was a defining part of his identity before he even realised it. Originally from Trinidad & Tobago, Bhisham lived in Guyana for 13 years before moving to Canada in 2013 to attend Trent University. After taking a class in “Community Development” during his third year of university, Bhisham became engaged in a process of redefining what the concept of “home” means to him. Drawing on his experiences in 3 Countries. 5 Cities. 11 Houses. and his work at the New Canadians Centre as the Outreach Worker, Bhisham will share what home and belonging now means to him.

Themes: Post-Secondary Education; Concept of Home; Importance of Community
Story Available in: English
Faye profile

Faye Shien Tan

Cultivating Empathy: Experiences supporting youth and children

Faye was born in Malaysia and came to Peterborough in 2007 to study at Trent University. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and Sociology. Faye works at the New Canadians Centre as a Settlement Worker in Schools, supporting newcomer youth in their integration and building school's capacity to welcome immigrant students. In 2014-2015, Faye worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia as a Child Protection caseworker supporting unaccompanied minors. Faye's experiences supporting immigrant youth and children has made her a passionate and empathetic advocate for newcomer youth.

Themes: Immigrant Youth and Children; Refugees; Empathy
Story Available in: English; Malay; Mandarin
Zebiba profile

Zebiba Sultan

Challenge as Opportunity: from the Big City to a small welcoming community

Zebiba Sultan was born and raised in Ethiopia. Prior to moving to Peterborough in 2010, Zebiba and her family lived in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Zebiba works at the New Canadians Center as a Bookkeeper and is a Board Member for the YWCA Peterborough. She enjoys volunteering at not-for-profit organizations like the Kawartha Muslims Religion Association, the Peterborough Youth Soccer Association and The Warming Room. As an African Muslim woman who moved from a big city to a small community with her children, Zebiba sees Challenges as Opportunities.

Themes: Motherhood; Minority; Big City vs. Small City
Story Available in: English; Amharic

*Zebiba is available for speaking engagements on Thursdays between 12pm and 3pm*

Khidir Bkdach stands infrom of a community mural

Khidir Bkdach

From a land I loved to a land I love: a young Syrian adult's journey to becoming a productive new Canadian

Khidir was very content living and going to school in Syria. He had hopes and dreams of becoming an accountant. These aspirations were diminished when the war turned his life into chaos. From dodging bullets and rocket fire in Syria to saying goodbye to his homeland to calling a shipping crate home, Khidir will share his story of resilience and hope - one that stems from his faith. Follow his journey of becoming a productive new Canadian.

Themes: Syria; refugee experience; Turkey; youth to Canada
Story Available in: English; Arabic