Sharmarke Dubow is a former refugee who fled civil war in Somalia at the age of 8, and spent 20 years seeking safe haven until Canada offered a home in 2012.
Sharmarke became a Canadian citizen on July 1, 2017. A year and a half later he was elected a Victoria City Councillor in the first election in which he was eligible to vote. His commitment to diversity, inclusion, and building equitable and compassionate communities has earned him recognition and respect as a community leader and a voice for bold and courageous policies. Sharmarke’s outstanding activism has garnered him various awards and recognitions including the Victoria Community Leadership Award in 2017.
Sharmarke has extensive experience in community development, including serving refugee and immigrant populations. He holds a degree in Business Technology from the University of Cape Breton and has worked at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and the Victoria Immigrant Refugee Services Centre. He also has served on the Boards of various organizations and groups, including the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Youth Crime Prevention Steering Committee, and the Victoria Tenant Action Group.
Prior to moving to Canada, he spent over 5 years working with asylum seekers, migrants and refugees in the Middle East, with organizations such as Africa and Middle East Refugee Assistance, Egypt AMERA, and the Psychosocial Training Institute Cairo. He was also a research assistant at the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo.