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Hesham Ahmed hadn’t left home for the first 25 years of his life.
Born in Palestine and living in Qatar, Ahmed didn’t plan on leaving his family or his country any time soon.
He was taking an accounting course at the College of the North Atlantic campus in the capital city of Doha when he took a quick meeting with an official there.
Even then, he didn’t take the meeting seriously. He had time in his schedule to accommodate the meeting and decided to take it.
There he learned about the relationship the college has with Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook and he started to think of a life outside of Qatar.
Then the now 27-year-old sent off his immigration papers. They took 11 months to complete where usually the process takes 3-4 months.
Ahmed made sure everything was correct because he didn’t want to arrive in Deer Lake and have to turn around and come back.
Things worked out and Ahmed arrived in Newfoundland on New Year’s Eve of 2016 with eyes on a degree in business administration from Grenfell.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Ahmed to make. It was the first time he had ever left home and left his family.
They understood why he wanted to go, but that didn’t make it any easier to leave them behind.
“It was the biggest decision I’ve ever made,” said Ahmed.
Leading up to the move, he was expectedly a bundle of nervousness mixed with a little bit of anxiousness.
Everything was going to be new from here on out.
New experiences, a new culture and new people were his future. Luckily, he had taken a couple of English courses at the college, so he had some experience with the language.
It took him a week before he was comfortable enough to leave the Airbnb he was renting.
Over the year, he went to school and got his degree.
Then, came another decision. Was he going to stay in Corner Brook in an attempt to find a job or was he going to return home?
Corner Brook was his choice and he ended up gaining employment related to the degree achieved.
I languished over my decision to make the move to the west coast. In retrospect, it was an easier decision to go to Halifax for school than it was to pack up my things and move to Corner Brook.
Truth be told, I wasn’t in the best situation financially and coming to The Western Star — albeit for better pay — meant potentially putting myself in a tighter spot.
There would be more bills and more stress associated with those bills. Aside from the self-doubt that clouds your mind in decisions such as these, it was the only reason I paused when asked to take the new job.
I knew it would be a step forward for my career instead of a lateral one similar to when I moved from Gander to Carbonear for a position.
Despite the crippling fear that comes with the unknown, I’m glad I came to Corner Brook.
There was a simple reason Corner Brook’s Scott Mosher made the decision to change careers.
He didn’t want to spend the rest of his working life chasing government contracts.
Languishing in the sports management field, Mosher saw the writing on the wall.
Grants and subsidies came around less frequently and he didn’t want a future that had him chasing the next contract in order to eke out a living.
At the age of 30, it wasn’t something he was up for doing. He felt that he needed a career and midway through his life he decided to move away from what he had gone to school for.
It wasn’t an easy decision for him to make. It meant leaving behind something he enjoyed and there was a possibility he could wind up leaving Corner Brook.
He was married and had started building a life in his hometown.
Through his career organizing and managing events, Mosher made connections with some of the local members with the Royal Newfound Constabulary.
Through those conversations, he thought policing might be a perfect fit for him. It offered a level of stability and contained a level of activity that he liked.
There would also be the chance to progress through the force. During the application process, Mosher was asked what his goal was for becoming a police officer.
His answer then was to be the police chief. It isn’t that way now.
He is more than content with being where he is now as a K9 officer in his hometown.
Mosher never hid his desire to be in wanted to be in Corner Brook. Every time one of his instructors with the constabulary asked for volunteers to go to Corner Brook, he threw up his hand with enthusiasm.
It got to the point that instructors would ask for Mosher and another volunteer to head to Corner Brook.
Looking back on the decision, it has worked out for him.
When he isn’t working with his canine companion, Garvey, Mosher is back involved in some of the recreational activities he was involved before shifting careers.
Decisions come and go.
How you handle them is the important part.
Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with The Western Star. He lives in Corner Brook and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.