This blog is written in advance of my imminent departure from the Federal Government [The Government of Canada] this April 2015… An end to one act that will trigger the start of a new adventure, an act yet to be written … The curtain is finally coming down. It’s real, and I’ll now have an easy answer to the question, “Have you retired yet from the Government of Canada?” The answer will be a smile :). ! It’s no secret that this is my last blog as a federal employee and I am afraid there will be no confessions to share and no kiss and tell moments, at least not for now :). But if you’ll indulge me, I would like to share a few moments of reflection at this special time in my life. First, I want to thank so many of you. You made my life so much more meaningful, made me feel wanted and useful. In addition to a special thanks to Liseanne Forand, my boss, our amazing president who I will miss enormously, there are so many people I want to thank, so naming them is futile. Over the years, I had noteworthy failures and significant accomplishments and, for some reason, I never dwelled on either. I tried to live in the moment and so, at this moment, I feel a remarkable embarrassment of riches for having so many great friendships.  I met so many wonderful professional, gentle, generous, humorous and warm people. Really amazing people both in the public as well as in the private sector! For a boy who travelled from Gaza City to Ottawa right out of high school, to graduating from engineering at University of Ottawa, to doing so many jobs from junior programmer to CIO, I was lucky to play diverse roles, including junior officer, policy analyst and technology professional. I even played the role of Assistant Deputy Minister for a while—who would have thought!   Fifteen years of my career were spent in the highest offices in the land, at the Privy Council Office/Prime Minister Office, supporting many prime ministers and senior officials.   Although none of that was in my plan, I enjoyed every step along way, almost!!!     The truth is, my dream was to be accepted and be a member of the cast, to build friendships and to make a difference, that’s all.    Many of you helped me accomplish that; thank you all! It has been a wonderful career and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this fantastic country as a member of its public service. Others have said that life is a mystery and magical! I agree. For me, every morning is a new start. I always accepted where and, finally, what I am. I made peace with whatever life dealt me. I have learned over the years that love is stronger than hate, hope is stronger than fear, and giving is more rewarding than taking. Looking back, I am concluding that one of life’s most rewarding moments is when you run into people on their knees and you are able to lean over and lift them up. I will not retire from that and I will focus on learning, sharing and supporting the forces of good in the world. Should you be interested, I plan to continue to chat at I have seen power come and go but, my grandmother, who lives in my heart and head, always reminded me of what’s important in life: do your part, do more to make life better for all, bring a smile to a child, have fun (I always liked that), and simply be good! She added, “Look after your grandmother:).” My last preaching words: stay away from fear and despair by filling your heart with love; give your spirit permission to soar in hope, way above our material world (Lamborghini’s exempted); help others; and, ultimately, build warm, real friendships and the world is yours; everything else is details. The end! Well, not so fast; I must end this journey with a song. Here it is: The Final Curtain: