"I've never had a nationality until I became a Canadian" - Nabil Rabie


"Like all other refugees, my story has been difficult. I was born in Palestine and my family fled to Lebanon as refugees. I’ve never had a nationality until I became a Canadian. I came to Canada when I was twenty-one to make a life. I started working at shawarma restaurants since I got here. I used to put in 85 hours a week, and did whatever I needed for shelter and food. There were times at the end of the month, I’d end up with a few cents in my account. I’ve always had dreams—dreams of owning a house, my own restaurant, and, most of all, being free. After a few years working in Canada, George, the owner of Boustan offered me a job at his restaurant. I thought I’d get paid minimum wage, but he said, ‘I don’t pay minimum wage, I’ll pay more.’ On my second day at work, the head chef left and I had to fill in. Maybe God had prepared this for me. Years later, when George told me he’s selling Boustan, I said, ‘This place is my dream. I’ll take it.’There is one guy after God—and his name is George. I can never forget what he has done for me. I love to do what I do; it’s my passion and that’s the secret to my success. What can I say about Canada? It’s my country. It’s given me everything I have ever dreamed of. There were times I was scared it wouldn’t happen, but I kept my head down and worked hard, because in Canada anything is possible. Maybe I was destined to be here, where it doesn’t matter where we’re from. All that matters is we all work hard to live our dream. Dreams do come true and I’m living mine."

- Nabil Rabie Restaurant Boustan