Myriam Mekni

Assistant Director, MAGMA – AMGM: Multiculural Association of the Greater Moncton Area

What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?

Some people may not find this as something to be proud of, but standing in my shoes, I’m proud to have had a remarkable career in my country and then leaving all that behind with the full knowledge of having to start from the bottom of the ladder.  Start from bottom as in cleaning bathrooms in restaurants to put food on the table during the first year in Canada is something I am now proud of, despite the fact that it nearly broke me. 4 years later, being offered the position of Assistant Director in an agency that helps newcomers like myself settle in Moncton is a fantastic way to close the loop and is also my way of giving back.

What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?

Atlantic Canada is becoming multicultural, multicolored, diverse, more tolerant, accepting and welcoming than when we first set foot in the province of NB in 2012. It's refreshing to see the decision makers are thinking outside of the box and looking for creative ways to enrich the province and the region. Our demographic growth may not be an issue in 10 years if we keep the current momentum.

What was your greatest stage of growth?  What made it a shift for you? 

The first year in Canada was a phase I had never planned to be that difficult. The only choice we had was to be patient and wait for processes even officials were not familiar with, and could not say how long they could be. It was a humbling, but very testing experience. The fact that we (my husband and I) had our 8-year old with us who could not go to school for the first quarter because of this slow process added guilt to the mix of feelings I had. In addition to that, losing a baby in the middle of all this was simply unbearable. We did not give up, though. Once all pieces fell into place, I was certain once again, that nothing could break us, or stop us, maybe delay us, but we'll get there. Only hard work and a lot of patience got us there. Pride should not get in the way of one's dreams or ambitions.

What's your favourite or most read book or podcast?

‘Safely Home’ - a book by Randy Alcorn about the persecuted Christians in China.

What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?

If you're not confident and do not trust your capabilities, you leave no room in your mind for growth or for golden opportunities to manifest themselves in your life. Dare to believe you're greater than what you probably ever thought and don't get discouraged by the lack of recognition or praise. Praise yourself and recognize your own greatness. This is what I kept telling myself as doors were trying to get shut in my face.

Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?

My mother. She always had a difficult life and still does, on multiple levels. Her hopes are always high though and her trust in her strength never failed her.

What would you have done differently?

Absolutely nothing. Everything is taking place in its perfect time.

What were your priorities and how did they help you overcome some of the struggles you've faced?

Putting food on the table was my first priority during my first year in Canada. Once that became less of a problem, I shifted my focus to proving to myself that I am capable of going back to where I was in my career and moving forward, within a couple of years.

The principles I live by are very simple. There is no room for the word "impossible" in my life. You are either capable or incapable. I choose willingly to be capable of doing anything I set my mind on. The obstacles that I encounter are learning opportunities - not really obstacles. Once you overcome them and pick up and move forward, you're a better stronger and more equipped for what comes next.

How have you recovered from fractured professional relationships? 

Fractured professional relationships, if such a thing does exist, are not something to recover from. You learn from them, they may change the way you handle relationships, but they're supposed to be transformed into experiences that lead to positive outcomes and changes. 


Professional, crochet lover, passionate about immigration and all its policies, logical and straight forward