Politics/Civil Service

Join this panel if you are interested in influencing other people on a civic or individual level, determining and formulating policies, and working in the government. Career example: Member of Parliament, political and policy advisor.

Moderator: Omar Alghabra

Omar is the federal Liberal Party candidate in Mississauga centre for the upcoming 2015 Federal Election. He was elected to the House of Commons in January 2006 for the riding of Mississauga-Erindale. During his tenure he focused on helping families, moving equality forward, and determining solutions. 

 Currently he is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Engineering at Ryerson University, mentoring students. Ryerson University is where he earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering.

 After earning his Bachelor’s degree, he worked in the private sector. He returned to school to complete his Masters of Business Administration from York University. This led him to a career in the energy sector, working in senior roles for organizations like GE and the Ontario Energy Board.

 Education and community service have always been passions of his. He had the opportunity to volunteer with great organizations like the Canadian Arab Institute among many others. 


Salim Rashid

Salim Rachid lived in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and England before making Canada his home in 2009. Currently a Communications Advisor with the City of Toronto, Salim has a passion for both public service and civic engagement. For the past three years, he has been organizing conversations across Canada on a wide array of public affairs issues with the Couchiching Institute. Most recently, Salim was part of a small group of Toronto leaders who spearheaded the Pan Am Path, Toronto's first cross-city continuous trail and the largest legacy project of the 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. Salim received his master's degree in international relations from the University of Oxford. You can follow Salim on Twitter @salim_rachid

Ghina Al Suweidi

Ghina is originally from Iraq where she left in the 1970's for schooling in Europe. She studied in Switzerland and the United Kingdom and is a holder of two Bachelor of Law degrees from both the U.K. & Canada (LL.B.) and a Master in Petroleum Law (L.L.M.) from the University of Dundee in Scotland. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic. She was educated at the following institutions: York University (Certificate in Dispute Resolution); University of Ottawa (LL.B.); Dundee University, Scotland, U.K. (Petroleum and Environmental Law LL.M); Dundee University (Diploma, International and Comparative Law); University of Buckingham, England (LL.B.), University of Lille, France (Diploma in French Civil Law) after having completed high school in England.

 Ghina's professional memberships include the following: Past Chair for the CBAO Young Lawyers Committee (Southwest Region); Past Council Member of the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario; Vice President of the Iraqi Canadian Society of Ontario (2005); President of the Iraqi Canadian Society of Ontario (2006); President of the Iraqi Canadian Society of Ontario (2007); Board member of the Arabic Community Center in Toronto (2009-2012) and an Honorary Member of the Mandean Canadian Association.   

 Ghina was involved in community projects such as "Breaking the Cycle of Violence"; "Children and the Rainbow" in cooperation with the Children Aid Society helping children arriving from war-torn countries; and "Access, Equity and Human Rights" (AEHR).  She was also a keynote speaker at the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities After Disaster (UMASS Boston), guest lecturer at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, guest lecturer at the University of Montpelier, France and a panelist at the 6th Family Law Summit “Cultural Fluency for Family Law Lawyers”.

 Awards include the Ontario Newcomer Championship Award, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the Honourable Eric Hoskins (July 2010), Honorary award from the Arabic Community Centre of Toronto in recognition of community work (2004) and an award of appreciation on International Women Day (2008) from the Arab Community Centre of Toronto, and finally an award from the Iraqi Canadian Society of Ontario in recognition of community contribution.

Karim Bardeesy (invited)