IRSHAD is a Canadian Arab Institute run mentorship program with the purpose of facilitating the exchange of knowledge and perspective from an experienced Canadian-Arab professional in any given field to a less experienced Canadian-Arab professional.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” - John C. Crosby

IRSHAD is the Canadian Arab Institute program with the purpose of facilitating the exchange of knowledge of established Canadian Arab professionals in different industries with graduating, or recent graduate university students, as well as internationally trained young professionals who recently
arrived to Canada.

The program aims at providing insight and opportunities to expand one’s knowledge of career options, develop or improve upon work-related soft-skills for career launch and/or achieving confidence and meaningful career progression goals.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be."

- Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring

Mentoring is the pairing of two people- a mentor and a mentee- and is founded on the use of encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect and a willingness to learn and share. It is a powerful personal development and confidence-building tool. It is also an effective way of helping people progress in their careers.

CAI’s IRSHAD mentoring program is a 4-month mentoring commitment between the mentor and mentee. The program encompasses an Orientation session, career development workshops and networking sessions and finally, about 20 hours of face-to-face meetings (online &/or in person) between the mentor and mentee.



Many professionals have been exposed to some form of mentoring while in university or the workforce and are familiar of how mentoring works. The IRSHAD mentoring program works like other mentoring programs, however the mutual cultural background allows for a cohesive mentor/mentee relationship.

Some facts and figures to reflect on: 

A recent study released by Western University of Indigenous students suggests that those mentored by a member of their same community had better better mental health, higher academic success and increased cultural awareness and pride. [Source:Radio Canada International, Nov 2016]

A study by the Canadian Women’s Foundation found 6 out of 10 very confident Canadians had a mentor in their youth. [Source: Canadian Women's Foundation, Nov 2014]

In a report released by CAI, 2011 census data indicated that 74% of the Canadian Arab population in Canada aged 25 to 64 years have completed post secondary education. This number compares with 64% among the Canadian general population, however, unemployment in the Canadian Arab community is significantly higher than that of the Canadian population, coming in at 13% in comparison to the national rate of 8%. [Source: CAI 2014 report series, A Highly Educated, Yet Under-employed Canadian Arab Community]

IRSHAD information brochure

Funded by: