Haroon Siddiqui shares the journalistic forays into the corridors of power, war zones, and cultural minefields. He also takes the reader along his personal journey from British colonial India to the evolution of Canada as the only Western nation where skin colour is no longer a fault line in My Name Is Not Harry. As an award-winning journalist, Haroon's story is a memorable one. Read an excerpt below, and don't forget to order a copy on our website or at your favourite retailer!
Love at 35,000 Feet
Since migrating to Canada in 1967, I must have gone back to India 50 times. On one of those return trips in the early years, I happened to have a window seat as the plane flew over Gaspe. The breathtaking view of the forests and rivers below evoked an unexpected emotion — all this majestic expanse of Canada belonged to me. This was my Canada, too. It was a moment of lasting bonding.
I’ve always preferred aisle seats on long flights, still do. But from that day on, I try to take window seats on return flights to Canada. Also, when flying across the country, especially over the Lake of the Woods or the Rockies.
One of my achievements with sons Fahad and Faisal has been to get them to two of the coasts, and I hope they’ll get to the third themselves.
If I were prime minister, I’d subsidize every Canadian to travel the country — details to be determined.
When I was working at the Brandon Sun in Manitoba in the 1970s, there was a journalistic visit to the Canadian peace-keeping force in Cyprus. The best part of the trip happened as soon as the plane took off from CFB Trenton. There below was a panoramic view of Prince Edward County, with Sandbanks and Lake Ontario, an area I was only vaguely aware of when living in Toronto 1967-68 but had never visited.
Made a mental note to holiday there some day. Have done so repeatedly after moving back to Toronto in 1978.
Haroon Siddiqui, a member of the Order of Canada, is a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto, and Editorial Page Editor Emeritus of the Toronto Star. Learn more here.