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Valerie Ahwee applied her copy-editing skills to the manuscript. M.J. Sicard took the manuscript in hand and donated many volunteer days of computer services. Acknowledgement is due as well to Carolyn Braunlich, who volunteered her time to the manuscript. The project benefited by the earlier volunteer contributions of Deborah Kaplan, who transcribed many of the original interviews. Throughout, Andrew Israel was an efficient and tireless research assistant. Arul Aruliah of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University provided the profile of the Sri Lankan Tamil community, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the Tamil refugees in Canada.
The MHSO owes an extraordinary debt to the five families who agreed to be the subject of this book and exhibition. They are: Marta and Ivan Straznicky and their children, Marta, Ivan, Magdalene, John, David, Lenka, and Michal; Maria Angelica, Nufiez Enriquez, and Gabriela, Feman, and Claudio; Pham, Th8 Trung and Thai, Ni Phan with Hieu (Daniel) and Hai (David); Indira and Siva Segaran and their children, Mirunalini, Vaseeharan, and Ketharini, and their grandfather, S.N. Rajah; Faduma Abdi and Amina, with Filsan, Fahiye, Hibaq, Hodan, and Warsan.
The families gave their time and trust to the project in the hopes that their stories would reach the broader Canadian public and encourage understanding and tolerance for refugees today.
Abdi family-23; Enriquez family-6, 7; Pham family-11, 15 Vincenzo Pietropaolo-3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 20, 21, 22, 24, 25; Straznicky family-1, 2.
Front cover, clockwise from top left: Ivan Straznicky, of the former Czechoslovakia, with grandson; Maria Angelica, Nufiez Enriquez (right), formerly of Chile, with her daughter Gabriela; Ketharini Segaran, formerly of Sri Lanka; Filsan Abdi, formerly of Somalia; Pham, The Trung, formerly of Vietnam, with wife Thai, Ni Phan and son (photographs by Vincenzo Pietropaolo).
Back cover: leather satchel--only item taken by Pham, The Trung when he fled Vietnam (Courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum).