Imagine immigrating from Abu Dhabi to Charlottetown in Grade 8, having spoken English and Arabic, and being totally immersed in a third language, French. Imagine culture shock combined with adolescence and that’s what Al MothannaKarfoul felt.
“My Mom said, ‘you will hate it now, but you will love me for it later, French will open up many doors for you,” Karfoul, now 17 and a Grade 12 student at École François-Buote, said. Four years later Karfoul, now fluent in French, spoke eloquently – after performing with the band – before a large crowd at the school’s grand opening celebration. “The teachers here helped me a lot, it was hard at first,” he said. Karfoul’s parents, both engineers originally from Syria, had been raising their family in Abu Dhabi where Al Mothanna attended an international school before coming to Prince Edward Island and École François-Buote.