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Local Immigration Partnership Hosts Tareq Hadhad for Peace is Beautiful in Every Language

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Posted on Thursday November 4, 2021


Local Immigration Partnership - Lanark & Renfrew, in partnership with Algonquin College’s Pembroke Campus, is pleased to welcome Tareq Hadhad, CEO of Peace by Chocolate, to discuss how offering kindness is the key to accelerating the integration of new immigrants in our communities.

The virtual series will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, November 24, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.(EST). Register here.

Born in Damascus, Tareq Hadhad shares the gut-wrenching story of how he found himself and his family far from home in a Lebanese refugee camp. Stripped of their possessions, their livelihoods and at the mercy of global aid organizations, Tareq talks about how he got involved, how he gave back and worked to find a new home for his family.

Three years after entering Lebanon as a refugee family, the Hadhad’s found themselves on the cold and snowy streets of an even farther away town - Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Their journey from the Middle East to Canada and its resulting culture shock are the tip of an inspiring iceberg that showcased the compassion and support of Canadians, Nova Scotians and the people of Antigonish.

From coast to coast, Tareq shares what can happen when people open their arms and offer kindness in another person's time of need. Peace, it truly is beautiful in every language.

Research shows that many small and rural communities in Canada are struggling to maintain their population numbers due to a variety of reasons like youth out-migration, declining birth rates, and an aging population. In response to these challenges, attracting new residents to settle in smaller centres can be used as a strategy to revitalize rural areas. Being a welcoming community means focusing on creating connections between newcomers and established community members. This can help in eliminating barriers to social and economic integration and addressing racism and discrimination.

The Local Immigration Partnership aims to strengthen the role of local communities across Lanark and Renfrew Counties in integrating and serving our newcomer population.Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) are funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a department of the Government of Canada, and support communities in bringing together service providers, settlement agencies, community groups, employers and other key municipal organizations to create a welcoming and inclusive community for newcomers.

In Lanark and Renfrew Counties, the work of Local Immigration Partnerships is administered by Algonquin College’s Pembroke Campus. To enable this work to happen, LIP staff conduct research to identify challenges that are preventing newcomers from fully participating in the economic, social, cultural and recreational life of the community. The LIP team also identifies new opportunities with the goal of helping newcomers settle in rural areas.