April 2013


April 2013 Bulletin

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April 2013 

In This Issue

• CAI Names First Five Members to its Advisory Board
• Charity Status Update
• Report: Number of Arab Students in Canada Spikes
• Book Release: Targeted Transnationals
Event of Interest

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CAI Names First Five Members to its Advisory Board  

The Canadian Arab Institute (CAI) is happy to announce the creation of its new Advisory Board, comprising a distinguished group of experts who will expand the talents and capabilities of the institution.  

“We are honoured to welcome such accomplished individuals to the CAI,” said Raja Khouri, President and cofounder of the CAI. “They have diverse and very relevant experience to our work and we're extremely pleased to have their support.” 

The Advisory Board will be made up of leading experts in government, academia,business and policy making. They will provide invaluable perspective on relevant issues and help supportCAI's  goals 

Advisory Board Members  

MamdouhShoukri is the President of York University and a former Dean of the Faculty of Engineeringand Vice-President Research & International Affairs at McMaster University in Hamilton. He serves on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations, including Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian Merit Scholarship Association.  

Eroll Mendes is a law professor at the Univeristy of Ottawa, author,and advisor to governments, NGOs, corporations and the United Nations. Professor Mendes has taught, researched, consulted and published extensively in the area of Global Governance, International Business Law and Ethics, International Arbitration, Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law. He is the author or co-editor of five books and has served as an advisor on the Global Compact initiative of the Secretary General of the United Nations. 

Ferry de Kerckhove is a former Canadian ambassador to Egypt and Indonesia and High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan.He is a member of the board at Conference of Defense Associations Institute and Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute. He has served as Prime Minister Harper's personal representative for Francophonie. His expertise stems from over four decades of international relations experience.  

John Monahan is the Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute, a Canadian think-and-do tank dedicated to inter-community dialogue, peace building, and the promotion of Canadian global citizenship. He is also a lawyer and has worked as Director, International Representation & Research at Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Tradeand has served as Consul and Ontario Senior Economic Officer at at the Canadian Consulate-General in New York. 

James Zogbyis the founder and President of the Arab American Institute, a U.S.-based research and policy organizationwhich serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. He is the author of Arab Voicesas well as a number of other books and publications, including: “Looking at Iran” (2013), “What Ethnic Americans Really Think” (2002), and “What Arabs Think: Values, Beliefs and Concerns” (2001).He is the Managing Director of Zogby Research Services which specializes in public opinion polls in the Middle East. 

Charitable Status Update

We are very pleased to announce that the Canadian Arab Institute (CAI) has been granted charitable status by the Canada Revenue Agency.  This means that all donations made to the CAI will be tax-deductible and that funding from other charitable organizations, such as foundations, will become accessible to CAI. 

Contributions to the CAI will be used to further our mission of promoting Canadian interests by researching and articulating the well-being, potential and contributions of Arab Canadians. By operating as a charity, we hope to attract the support of Canadians who share our vision of a Canada that is just, inclusive and respectful of all.  

To donate, please click here.

Number of Arab Students in Canada Spikes

Data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada acquired by CAI reveals that the number of Arab students in Canada reached an all-time high in 2010 with 9,800 Arab citizens enrolled in Canadian academic institutions as foreign students. This number constituted 10.3% of all foreign students in Canada that year and was surpassed only by China (with 18.6% of Canada's foreign students), India (12.3%), and South Korea (11%).

A report, released in 2012 by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), showed that international students contributed more than $8 billion to the Canadian economy in 2010, up from $6.5 billion in 2008. 

The rise in the number of Arab students is part of a larger trend of an increase in the overall number of foreign students in Canada.  The DFAIT report found there were 218,000 full-time international students in Canada in 2010, up from 178,000 in 2008 and more than double the number of students in 1999.   

It estimated that international students supported 86,000 jobs and contributed $445 million in tax revenue to the country.

In addition to the economic benefits of foreign students there’s also improved cross-cultural understanding.  Students play the role of ambassadors of their cultures while in Canada, and ambassadors of Canadian culture when they return home, which also allows for the creation of informal networks and broadening the experience of Canadian students.

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Book Release

Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media and Arab Canadians, UBC Press, edited by BessmaMomani and Jenna Hennebry 

After the 9/11 attacks on America, some Canadian policymakers sanctioned the racial profiling of Arab Canadians in an effort to achieve a greater sense of national security. This book, co-edited by CAI cofounder and board member BessmaMomani, argues that Arab Canadians have become “targeted transnationals”. They experienced heightened scrutiny and discrimination which led to their increased sense of vulnerability in Canada.  

Using qualitative interviews, policy and media analyses, the book's contributors examine the discrimination towards Arab Canadians in the media, government and civil society. The timing of this book is particularly pertinent given the current global war on terror and the shifting sentiment towards Arabs following the Arab Spring.  

To order, click here.

Event of Interest 


April 20 – September 13 

UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver 

Safar/Voyage is the first major Canadian group exhibition of contemporary artists from the Middle East. Audiences are taken on a voyage through sentimental and sometimes humourous portrayals of life in the region. It explores such themes as culture, censorship, exile, and escape through musical performances, film, photography, paintings and more.  

For more information, click here.

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