Youssif Karam is Leila and Zada’s father. He immigrated to Canada in 2016 as part of the first wave of Syrian refugees relocated to Toronto. He is a warm and peaceful person, and fiercely devoted to giving his daughters everything. He and Nada built their lives so that their daughters would never experience the horrors of his own war-torn past.
He studied to be an electrical engineer, and took a steady job with Toronto Hydro to provide a stable life for his family, but has a passion for space which he imparted to Leila, and which he has encouraged for her entire life. They are the closest of the Karams, having spend hours looking through a telescope in the backyard in their suburban home outside of Toronto.
Youssif takes leave from work to relocate to Edinburgh before the launch of the Saena. However, he suffers a major stroke which prevents him from returning to his previous life. His mental condition in the aftermath of the stroke causes him to re-live Leila’s departure, which hurts him deeply. His frustration with his recovery occasionally leads him to lash out at his family.