October 2013

October 2013 Bulletin
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In this issue:
  • Youth Conference a great success!
  • Get your Gala tickets! Online or in person
  • New auction items posted you won't want to miss
  • Thanking our Youth Conference team
  • Art exhibit
  • NCCM event: Fostering Fear: Examining the Roots of Anti-Muslim Discourse
  • ROM's Mesopotamia Exhibit

Professional Development Conference for
Canadian Arab Youth a great success

"Extremely inspiring, educational, and a great place to network for the youth
and people of all ages." 

The first-of-a kind event brought together over 40 leading Canadian Arab professionals as panelists and saw over 200 people attend. The young and young-at-heart gathered at the University of Toronto on Sept. 21 to learn about fields of interest and to be inspired by the personal stories of those who had "made it."  

Keynote speaker Khaled Al Sabawi was wildly popular as he shared anecdotes about his path to becoming an influential young Palestinian man with great impact on his homeland. 

The Canadian-Palestinian engineer has founded and led MENA Geothermal, which has both environmental and economic benefits, and the TABO Initiative, which has expanded property rights in Palestine and made land affordable for Palestinians. Despite his jokes about lacklustre marks during undergrad at the University of Waterloo, he's been named "One of the World's Top Energy Entrepreneurs" by Global Post and was ranked the 195th Most Influential Arab by Arabian Business Magazines in 2012.

Al Sabawi was honest about the challenges he faced and continues to face, particularly in navigating bureaucracy, but despite the difficulties, was adamant about the importance of sustainability over dependence on outside aid and powers. 

The Civic Engagement Panel spoke next, with each panelist taking a different angle. Areej Hasso, a constituency assistant, emphasized networking, self-promotion and volunteering. "Become a familiar face," she advised. Suhail Abualsameed took an indirect path toward his current rights-based activism, suggesting that 9/11 was a personal turning point. His work started with a decision, he said, not with credentials. "It's OK to take pauses in life," he told the crowd. "Find your own dream, live your own life." Next up was Aubrey Jamal, who gave very practical advice: create your own opportunities; pick up the phone; know when to say yes; be bold; and give back to the community. Jehad Aliweiwi also spoke passionately about "giving back" but, referencing Edward Said, he emphasized that should go beyond a specific cause or community toward "a bigger cause," saying Arab voices are missing from important civic conversations.

Afterwards, participants split off into 9 different panels, including media, law and the most populated panel, entrepreneurship.

In the latter part of the day, attendees heard from younger Arab folk who are involved on campus and heading their own initiatives, and comedian Dave Merheje regaled the audience with personal stories about his life and Canadian-Arab family.

We thank our speakers, guests, our media sponsor Lama TV and our community partners.

For a photo gallery of the day, visit our website.

If you attended the conference and have not yet taken our feedback survey, please do so here.

Get Your Inaugural Gala Tickets!

Tickets for A New Conversation: Inaugural Gala may now be purchased at Beit Zatoun (612 Markham St., Toronto), 
Thurs.-Sun. 12pm-5pm plus during special events.
Visit their website for schedule.

Tickets may also be purchased online here  (cai.ticketbud.com/inaugural-gala). Tickets are $250.

CAI's gala on October 30 will celebrate our official launch.  The event will take place at the Royal Ontario Museum and will offer a delectable dinner, performances by riveting soprano Miriam Khalil and musicians and entertainers George Sawa and Al-Asala Dabke group, and a guided tour of the museum's Mesopotamia Exhibit. Award-winning CBC broadcaster Suhana Meharchand will host the event and we are honoured to have The Hon. Bill Graham delivering the keynote.

The evening will reflect on Canadian Arab achievements and the community's potential, while highlighting the importance of improved understanding and relations within Canadian society.
Like us on Facebook to get all the latest updates or head to our website event page.

Honorary Gala Chairs

CAI is proud of and grateful for an illustrious, diverse and socially-concious team of supporters, including the following honorary gala chairs:
  • Najla Al Zaibak
  • Sally Armstrong, OC
  • Jean Augustine, OC
  • Sylvia Bashevkin
  • Salah Bachir
  • Sam Bouji
  • Rita Davies
  • Barbara Hall
  • Nizar Jiwan
  • Alexa McDonough, OC
  • Ratna Omidvar, OC
  • Charles Pachter, OC
  • Senator Nancy Ruth, OC

For more information on our chairs or other committees, check our website.

Auction items

Have you heard? Our Inaugural Gala will feature some very special auction items, including the following. Head to our auction page for details.
  • Paintings by acclaimed artists Charles Pachter, Bev Jenkins and Lubna Musa
  • Air Canada Business-class tickets to anywhere in the world
  • Fine jewelry from Mejuri

Sponsorship opportunities 

The following sponsorship opportunities are available:
  •  Event Sponsor: $25,000
  •  Reception Sponsor: $15,000
  •  Gold Sponsor: $10,000
  •  Silver Sponsor: $7,500
  •  Bronze Sponsor: $5,000
  • In-Kind Sponsors 
For inquiries or to obtain a sponsorship package, visit our website or contact Raja Khouri at raja@canadianarabinstitute.org or 1-888-983-4775.

Thank you to our Youth Conference team!

Mariam Hamaoui, left, worked tirelessly as a summer intern for months to ensure the success of the youth conference, including planning, organizing and outreach. She is already making a difference in her community through her volunteer work and leadership and we wish her the best of luck in her fourth year at York University.

Leen Zaibak, co-founder of Jusoor, parachuted in when we needed her and devoted full energy to pulling all the pieces together and making sure her networks were aware about the amazing opportunity offered to them. We thank Leen for her outstanding contribution and energy.

And of course, the team wouldn't be a team without many dedicated volunteers such as Noor Musa, Samir Mourani, and Abdullatif Alshaikh, among others.  We are so grateful for their contributions in the planning stages and for their smiling faces on event day.

Art Exhibit by our very own Jamelie Hassan

Could we ever know each other...?

Multi-media exhibition
Robert Langen Gallery: Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo

Sept. 18 – Oct. 26


Event: Fostering Fear: Examining the Roots of
Anti-Muslim Discourse

Author Nathan Lean and Globe & Mail columnist Doug Sanders
Hosted by National Council of Canadian Muslims
Saturday, Oct. 26, 6:30pm - 10:00pm
For tickets: http://fosteringfear.eventbrite.ca

ROM's Mesopotamia Exhibit getting rave reviews

CAI is a proud community partner helping to promote the Royal Ontario Museum's Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World exhibit, on now until January 5, 2014. Our Facebook event page is helping to spread the word about this fascinating exhibit.

Here's what reviewers are saying:
  • "A most refreshing show" - Globe and Mail
  • "One of the best exhibits that the ROM has put on in years." - Maclean's
  • "This is the king of a great city vanquishing the king of the wild. This is order over chaos. This is the story of civilization." - Globe and Mail
  • "A modern approach to the cradle of civilization." - The Torontoist

For more information and to book advance tickets, click here.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Follow us at @CAIThinkTank for the latest news on Canadian-Arab issues.

Like us on Facebook to be notified of events and organizational updates.
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