Graduation day today was a smash hit! The format followed our template, we hung an
exhibition of the students work, we made a bunch of slideshows, and we put out a bunch of invitations for the event. And the auditorium was full. We had several people who came to thegraduation who heard about it on the radio, and several more who had seen us in action throughout the week. Including one Mr. Robert Oliphant MP who happened upon one of our events in a park. The biggest surprise guest was (virtual) attendee Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governer of Ottawa. She sent a video message of congratulations to the students because she’d heard about their work in the program!
Many of the students had invited their families and after the presentation the crowd mingled in front of the theater where Arthur and the museum team had hung the exhibition. Selfies were snapped and each of the student’s families introduced themselves to our team. We chatted and snacked on samosas and ice cream in the early afternoon light of the beautiful Aga Khan Museum. Flanked by an exhibition of the work of a Syrian ceramic artist, the students work stood proudly in the magnificent common space of the museum and many who’d entered to see the other exhibitions come by to see what the hubbub was about. For that, our students were front and center and loving it!
As the students trickled away from the museum, going home with their proud families, we said our goodbye’s and began our reflections. There were definitely some new friendships made and we will remember these guys for a long, long time. Some of these guys have had such a hard road these past few years having lived the lives we’ve read headlined in the news. As they settle into new lives and new communities, our hope is that in some small way this week will mark a corner turned and that they’ll remember us fondly. Until we come back!