The new CTV series Transplant stars Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, a Syrian refugee who fled in hopes of starting a new life in Canada. Bash’s second chance comes at Toronto’s York Memorial Hospital, where the foreign-trained MD must repeat his residency in order to work in the emergency department.
The actor who plays him, Hamza Haq, was born in Saudi Arabia to parents from Pakistan. The youngest of four siblings, he arrived in Ottawa at nine and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.
Haq was never a refugee but his immigrant story has its own twists and turns. I met him on the set of the series in Montreal late last year. It was shortly after “Coach’s Corner” commentator Don Cherry’s “you people” remarks led to his firing from Hockey Night in Canada.