February 2016


CAI Communication Emails



CAI Awards Gala to Celebrate Excellence in Multiculturalism
And the Contributions of Syrian Refugees to Canada

The Canadian Arab Institute’s first awards gala will honour two community leaders who embody the genius of Canadian multiculturalism: Mary Jo Haddad, former CEO of Sick Kids and Sheldon Levy, former president of Ryerson University. The event, which will take place on April 4, 2016, at The Carlu in Toronto, will include a conversation with the honorees hosted by veteran journalist and newspaper publisher John Honderich.

The evening will also recognize Canada’s laudable resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees and the work of Lifeline Syria. And the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and internationally-renowned Syrian musician Kinan Azmeh will be presenting an original composition to celebrate the cultural contribution of Syrian refugees to Canada. 

Find out who our special guests will be and meet the gala’s stellar group of honorary chairs in the gala brochure.  This high-profile event has attracted hundreds of business people, civic leaders, philanthropists and professionals from the Canadian Arab community and beyond. Don’t wait to get your ticket!


It is difficult to contain the rush of excitement and urgency that comes with talking to May Telmissany. As someone who has spent her life at the forefront of the production, research, and nourishment of Arab culture, Telmissany is the embodiment of the contemporary intellectual. It is quickly obvious, however, it is not titles that define her, but her drive for creativity, knowledge, and co-creation...[READ ON]


CAI Endorses Charter to Protect the Rights of Canadians Detained Abroad

fahmy.pngCAI has joined civil society partners and journalist Mohammed Fahmy in calling on the federal government to do more to protect the human rights of Canadians detained abroad.  Released by Amnesty International and the Fahmy Foundation last month, the "Protection Charter" provides a list of principles meant to guide the Canadian government on how best to strengthen and improve its protections of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those with close Canadian connections.

“It is important that there be a consistent and effective process that the Canadian government follows in all cases of citizens detained abroad,” said CAI president Raja Khouri in explaining the institute’s support for the charter.  “Right now, the government of the day decides on who, and how vigorously it will pursue its protections for.  It’s on a case-by-case basis.” 

The Protection Charter prescribes a transparent process that equally treats all detainees abroad.  Read the full charterEnglish French.



April 4, 2016: CAI Awards Gala - we are recognizing the outstanding achievements of community leaders who embody the genius of Canadian multiculturalism.  More details HERE

April 16, 2016: Simon Shaheen in Concert - Co-presented by CAI and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Simon Shaheen brings to life the Arab music of Al-Andalus and blends it with flamenco in Zafir, a sonic journey of discovery.  More 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!