April 2016


CAI Communication Emails



A wonderful celebration of the values that have made Canada great! 
- CAI Awards Gala Guest

What a Night!

In an evening of jovial celebration, CAI held its first awards gala at the venerable, historic Carlu in downtown Toronto on April 4, honouring Mary Jo Haddad and Sheldon Levy.

More than just an awards gala, the evening was a celebration of the values embodied by our honourees, and which CAI holds very dear: multiculturalism, civic engagement, leadership and excellence.

In his welcoming remarks, CAI President Raja Khouri spoke of the Canadian Arab Institute as the antidote to hate and a champion of multiculturalism “not as a slogan, not just as a policy, not even as a touted value, rather, for what it means to the way we live our lives and relate to each other.”  He concluded with a re-iteration of CAI’s vision for an inclusive and respectful society in an empowered and engaged citizenry, and added, “We stand for Canada – at its best!”

We were privileged to have with us a wide array of political, civic, community, academic and business leaders who, by their presence, endorsed these values and CAI's message of respect and inclusion.


Among the evening’s notables were:
Provincial politicians
The Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Reza Moridi, MPP and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
The Hon. Mitze Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance
Patrick Brown, MPP and Leader of the Official Opposition

Federal politicians  
John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Adam Vaughan, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Affairs
Arif Virani, MP and Parliamentary Secretary  to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees
Ahmed Hussein, MP York South – Weston
Ali Ehsassi, MP Willowdale
Iqra Khalid, MP Mississauga – Erin Mills
Marwan Tabbara, MP Kitchener South - Hespeler
Raj Saini, MP Kitchener Centre
Rob Oliphant, MP Don Valley West

Municipal politicians
Denzil Mennon-Wong, Toronto Deputy Mayor
Joe Cressy, Councillor
Joe Mihevic, Councillor

Former elected officials
The Hon Bill Graham, Chancellor of Trinity College in the University of Toronto and former federal cabinet minister
The Hon. Maria Minna, former federal cabinet minister

University Presidents
Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto
Mamdouh Shoukri, President, York University
Mohamed Lachemi, President, Ryerson University


The Canadian Arab Institute is Proud to Sponsor: 
Simon Shaheen’s Zafir: Musical Winds from North Africa to Andalucia

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Saturday, April 16, 2016 8pm - Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W. 
Tickets: 416.408.0208 www.performance.rcmusic.ca

Simon Shaheen and his ensemble Qantara, featuring internationally renowned Moroccan singer Nidal Ibourk, Andalucian flamenco dancer Auxi Fernandez, and Andalucian flamenco pianist Juan Pérez Rodríguez, bring to life the Arab music of Al-Andalus and blend it with flamenco in Zafir. Discover music that was born in Iraq, Palestine, and Syria, blew across the Mediterranean to Al-Andalus, blended with elements of Spanish music, and brought across the sea to North Africa.
Co-presented with the Royal Conservatory of Music 
Tickets start at only $35
Call 416.408.0208 or buy tickets online at 

Better yet: Enjoy Simon Shaheen in concert and support an amazing cause – the education of newcomer Syrian women through Jusoor - Syrians Forward Together (جسور سوريا)




Tonight!  April 13, 2016 - Book Launch: "The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East," by Marc Lynch.  Join the Canadian Arab Institute and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History in hosting this book launch and obtain your signed copy.  7:00pm - 9:00pm, George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Place, Toronto.

June 28, 2016:  Benefit concert for Syrian refugees co-presented with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  HOLD THE DATE and stay tuned for more details! 


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Join us on May 18, 2016, at a reception to welcome Canadian Arab Members of Parliament elected in 2015.

The theme of the reception, Diversity in Parliament, will celebrate current and former members for their dedication to diversity in both the House and the Senate, including Senator Pierre De Bané for his 45 years of parliamentary service.

The reception will be an opportunity to meet local, provincial and federal politicians, diplomats, academics, and community and faith leaders.

The reception will take place at Ottawa City Hall at 6:30 pm and admission will include a silent auction, cultural displays, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres.

Proceeds from the silent auction will fund initiatives to resettle Syrian refugees, and proceeds from the reception will fund NCCAR’s parliamentary internship program.

Diversity in Parliament promises to be one of the most interesting and engaging networking events of the year. Get your early bird tickets before May 8th for only $50.

Get your tickets from Eventbrite
Follow the event on Facebook

We are pleased to present Diversity in Parliament in cooperation with the following community partners:

Arab Canadian Studies Research Group 
Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
Canadian Palestinian Centre for the Capital Region
Humans for Peace Institution


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Safety and security are paramount concerns for any neighbourhood, and there are as many different approaches to address them as there are issues. Sharmaarke Abdullahi’s work in Ottawa has gone to the root of the matter, the community level, leveraging his own life experiences to improve the same neighbourhoods he grew up in. “Whatever job that I did when I was in school, doing my undergrad,” Abdullahi explains, “I was always actively involved in the community...[READ ON]



May 12th - YOUTH CONNECT - As part of the Canadian Arab Institute's Youth Academy, and hosted in collaboration with MESA YorkU, this event brings together an array of young Canadian Arab professionals from different sectors for the opportunity to broaden their own networks and strengthen the Canadian Arab community.  Details HERE

June 28, 2016:  Benefit concert for Syrian refugees co-presented with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.HOLD THE DATE and stay tuned for more details! 

September 28, 2016: CAI will co-host with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment a soccer match where 1,500 Syrian newcomers will be welcomed as guests. HOLD THE DATE and stay tuned for more details!