Born in the East African country of Djibouti in 1975, Gouled is a tall, cheerful, elegant man who plays a central role in an extensive social support network serving Sudbury’s francophone community. This resolute man of Muslim faith has made it his mission to help those who are building the Canada of the future. Gouled’s family decided to immigrate to Canada in the hope of finding a better life here. However, his meteorologist father was unable to find work relating to his profession. Having grown up in a Somali-speaking middle-class family, Gouled found immigrating to Toronto a shock. Help from social support services was required. Despite living in low-cost housing in a rough neighborhood of Toronto near Dundas and Spadina Streets, he was able to attend the Collège Français, a school with an excellent academic reputation. He devoted the required effort to his studies and pursued his passion for basketball while working as a telemarketer on the side. His life would then be transformed by the social milieu of Sudbury and his studies at Laurentian University. Already involved in the social support community, he completed a first bachelor’s degree in administration and a second in economics, followed by an MBA. Considering himself a liberal thinker, he believes in respecting the religious practices of others and in intercultural relations—an initiative that he pursues along with fellow Muslims from his mosque. Gouled is married to an Ethiopian of Orthodox Christian faith, Méron Yeshoa, with whom he has a son, 7-year-old Isaac. Gouled is well-known in the Sudbury community for supporting immigrants by building connections between members of various cultural and linguistic communities and making efforts to promote their successful integration.
When not working as a project manager at Laurentian University, he devotes his free time to serving on various committees and boards related to promoting the French language or supporting immigrants. His wife Méron, meanwhile, is involved in organizing Sudbury’s annual African Cabaret event. Gouled, who frequently travels to Toronto and Ottawa, insists that implementing the Canadian values of equality and inclusion necessitates an approach to education that facilitates access to post-secondary studies for immigrants and enables qualified immigrants to apply their professional skills. He regretfully cites cases such as the former president of a Moroccan company who’s now a bagger in a supermarket or a former pediatrician from the Middle East who now drives a school bus. All administrations, whether public or private, must act in an open, flexible and adaptable manner. Driven to fight against racism and the exclusion of minorities, Gouled is eager to explore other regions of Canada that face similar social challenges, including Nunavut, the west coast and Acadia. This activist and lecturer sums up his convictions as follows: to be yourself, to surpass your limits, to be open to others, to support those at risk and to stick to your principles.
A humanist who’s ready to fight for what he believes, Gouled is helping to shape the future of Canadian society. Listen to what he has to say.