Newcomer Success Story #1

Khaleel Urrahman

Khaleel Urrahman (Kaleel  U-Rah-man), says the first time he took notice of Canada was in 1997 when the City ofKhaleel Urrahman Toronto famously hosted the Sahara Cup Cricket Match.  India and Pakistan, two bitter political rivals, took to the pitch to compete. Khaleel was just a teenager at the time, but Canada’s role in such an event left an impression. “I remember thinking that any place willing to host a match between two warring countries must be pretty special,” he says. 

After completing his finance degree in his native India, Khaleel began working for a Canadian company in Bangalore where he learned how Canadian companies do business. Ten years later, after working in New Zealand and The Philippines, Khaleel immigrated to Atlantic Canada.

“Once I got to know the people of New Brunswick, I had no interest in leaving,” says Khaleel, who is now celebrating his sixth year in Moncton.  “People have been extremely warm and welcoming. Moncton is home to me now.”  
Today, Khaleel is a well-respected financial advisor with Sun Life Financial. Although he’s been on the job for less than two years, he’s built a loyal clientele who trust his knowledge and expertise. Through his hard work, he’s also earned several career performance awards. 

Khaleel considers his immigration experience easier than most, but remembers that as a newcomer, he had to work extra hard to establish himself. Although he speaks five languages and is well educated, he struggled to find work. 
My first job here was working in a call centre,” he recalls. “I knew that I would need to work my way up to a job that I wanted.”  

To help others do the same, Khaleel volunteers with 3plus Corporation to mentor immigrant entrepreneurs. He also is a member of the Indo-Canadian Association, the Young Professionals Network and is a committee-member of the Riverview Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s about connecting to community,” he says. “I want to help others to get ahead and achieve their goals. Plus, I have met so many wonderful people through these organizations.”

Although Moncton is now home, Khaleel admits that he misses his family, the festivals and food of his native country. Feeling this pull from your homeland, he says, is very much part of the immigrant experience.  It has also made him more sensitive to the experiences of newcomers, so he makes a point of being as equally welcoming to others as they were to him when he first arrived. 

Since living in Moncton, he’s also noticed the growing diversity that is happening in the city – from new food options and festival celebrations to hearing a variety of languages when out and about. 

“When I first arrived, most newcomers were foreign students studying at the university,” he says. “But I’ve since met families from Korea, China, India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Like me, they thought they would leave but decided to stay after realizing what a wonderful place New Brunswick is.”