Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Narrative images: Justin & Bassel

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister every diversity specialist dreams of, marched in a pride parade that took place in Toronto last Sunday, 3rd of July. The composition and Trudeau's expression on this photograph would suffice to call it a "one million dollar photo". But there is another, an additional aspect that makes it so beautiful. Next to Trudeau (front right, wearing baseball cap) is Bassel Mcleash, a 29-year-old Syrian refugee who had arrived in Toronto this May through a programme for LGBT Syrians.

“Just the idea of attending a pride parade was a dream. To march in it was like an extreme dream. But to march in the parade next to the prime minister – not in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought about having a day like this.”
Bassel Mcleash

Mcleash had hoped to be able to see Trudeau at least from a distance and if possible to thank him: "I wanted to tell him thank you, that I'm Syrian, I arrived here a month ago." He found himself walking the entire parade route next to the Canadian prime minister. Halfway through the route, Mcleash thanked Trudeau for opening the doors to tens of thousands of refugees. “He told me that Canadians were the ones who asked him to take in refugees. I literally wanted to cry. I was barely able to contain myself.” (via)

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photograph by Mark Blinch/AP via


  1. Didn't MARVEL made him (Trudeau) a super hero, recently?

    1. Indeed! I've just made a quick search. Well, he certainly qualifies as a superhero ;-) BIG thanks for the information!