President Obama Gave Amazing Shout-Out To Maryam Monsef In House Of Commons

Obama shaking hands with MP Monsef

Obama shaking hands with MP Monsef

It was an amazing and unexpected moment in the House of Commons for Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef Wednesday night.

During a powerful and rousing speech to Parliament by U.S. President Barack Obama, he gave a beautiful and touching shout-out to Monsef, telling the story of how she fled Afghanistan with her mother and siblings after her father was killed by the Taliban. Many on social media said it was the highlight of his talk.


VICE News Canada Features Editor Justin Ling tweeted this...

Buzzfeed Canada Politics reporter Emma Loop tweeted this...

Speaking of the need to embrace immigrants, Obama said this of Monsef, the Minister of Democratic Institutions, in his speech:

"We see the refugees who feel that they have a special duty to give back, and seize the opportunities of a new life. Like the girl who fled Afghanistan by donkey and camel and jet place and who remembers being greeted in this country by helping hands and the sound of robins singing. And today she serves in this chamber and in the cabinet because Canada is her home."

Monsef was blown away by the remarks, and later tweeted this:

A standing ovation for Monsef was given after Obama's remarks in the House of Commons.

Buzzfeed's Emma Loop tweeted this video of Obama shaking hands with Monsef after his speech...

"It was unexpected," Monsef tells PTBOCanada of Obama's shout-out. "It was humbling and lovely. I immediately thought of my mother, her courage, her pursuit of a better life for her and her kids."

Monsef, who says it was really neat to shake hands with Obama, tells PTBOCanada this of what the moment means to her and her upbringing in Peterborough: "My story is what it is because of Peterborough, which treated my family so well when we came here. It's just another reminder about the people of our community, and their acts of kindness. How these acts of kindness and community are never forgotten."

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