How does our past influence where we put our energy? Rusul Alrubail was born in Iraq in the tense years preceding the Gulf War. In 1992, her family left Baghdad to take cover in a rural suburb, eventually fleeing to Jordan before finally making their way to Canada.

In our interview, we discuss how her experience as a refugee and a newcomer to Canada has helped shape her into the leader she is today, and how it corresponds with the work she’s doing as the Executive Director of the brand-new Parkdale Centre, located at Queen & Lansdowne. Further, this is a love letter to Toronto’s vibrant and diverse west-end neighbourhood.