The Incredible Journey of Alexandra and Dmitry Lubarsky.
By: Ari Glazas
Courtesy of: TechnoPixel
This wonderful planet we live on comes with Billions of interesting people who hold interesting stories about themselves. These stories are usually held between family members and are told at Family/Social gatherings. Unfortunately, Some people never actually get the chance to let their stories be known to the world. As you may or may not know Russia has officially started its attack on Ukraine to take over the country and its population. Unfortunately, this already happened in the past, and believe me when I tell you this, it was worse before. Alexandra and Dmitry Lubarsky know about this a little too well. The early ’70s was not a good time to be Jewish in the Ex-Soviet states due to anti-Semitism and the infamous Cold War that had already been happening for 20 years. Because of Oppression and Socialist policies made by the Russian Government, citizens of Russia and surrounding countries were kept poor. In Canada and the United States, we have the freedom and ability to go for jobs and opportunities that are given to us or worked for. In the USSR occupations and salaries are based on your profession and not your skill level. To Russian standards it does not matter how good you are at your profession, about 80% of people will get the same amount of salary pay unless you specialise in a particular field that is deemed important by the Russian government. If this situation were to occur these extremely educated people will have a chance at getting higher pay. Yes, I said chance at higher pay it is not a guaranteed. Now that you know about what It was like in the USSR let me bring you into Alexandra and Dimity’s world. Before their move to Italy in April of 1976 Alexandra and Dmitry didn’t even know each other. She was a computer operator working for the government and he was a musician. Dmitry was a professional drummer and musician who travelled around the Ukraine and Russia with his band. These two love Birds who have been married for over 39 years started their relationship once they found sanctuary in Ontario, Canada. The best part about their story is that they had almost the same immigration experience. In the 70s it was very hard to be Jewish in Russia because of Anti-Semitism. If it wasn’t for the JCC foundation (Jewish Community Centres foundation) they would have never found a home and could have even potentially died if the circumstances in Russia got worse (which they did in the 80s). Alex told me that the JCC foundation started funds outside of Russia in order to get Jewish people out of the country. After months and months of waiting to get new passports Alex and Dmitry both were eligible to relocate to Italy for the time being, while trying to get a passport to their now immigrated country. People helped by the JCC were all relocated to Italy for a small amount of time so that these people could escape war while trying to get passports. Immigrants were given choices of countries that they could move to including England, Sweden, Australia, America and Canada. At the time Both Dmitry and Alex were extremely poor so moving to another country is 100% harder. With 60 cents in their pockets and Alexandra with a 2 year old in tow they were able to move to Canada and get citizenship thanks to the JCC’s countless donations to help these struggling immigrants. After relocating to Canada Alexandra and Dmitry found each other after a couple of years and have been together ever since. Due to them both being poor they had aspiration to become successes in Canada and move forward in their lives. They moved to Canada in 1976 and said that it was the best decision they have ever made. In the 90’s they opened a printing company called Dal Signs Inc. This company is the reason for their success today. After being in the printing industry for almost 40 years they have racked up a huge list of big company clients including Coca Cola, Budweiser, Heineken and Rogers. Because of them they have now built a successful family in Canada without a single regret. Now that Russia has declared war on Ukraine again I asked them if they think that this war will cause another surge in immigrants leaving Russia they had this to say. “ (Dimitry) We don’t have the proper information, one side is saying one thing and the other side is saying another thing so a surge in immigration, I don’t think so. (Alexandra) It happens all the time, between me and you I believe that we have been here for over 40 years and those who do not cope with their country’s system are fleeing everywhere. Because we know how it is, No matter what Putin says or the government says it is a very difficult life”. Their story has really shown me how different life can be when the Government isn’t looking for the public’s best interest. People who live in Canada and the States should really take into consideration what freedom means and how we have so much more freedom than other countries around the Globe. Thank you to Alexandra and Dmitry for letting me tell their story. They said to me post interview that they hope this article will resonate with people whose families have experienced a similar upbringing.