August 2014

August 2014 Bulletin

In this issue:


CAI Reports on Canadian Arabs 

An Adaptive Immigrant Community
The third in a four-part series analyzing the 2011 census data by Statistics Canada; this report shows the distribution of Canadian Arabs by citizenship, immigrant and generational status, as well as the languages spoken by Canadian Arabs ..READ ON

Yalla Network! CAI's Professional Development Conference

BannerThis year's professional development conference taking place September 27th will have 12 panels with a chance to network with professionals and fellow students and youth. 

Early bird tickets on sale on August 18th at $15. Find more information on our event page here.  


CAI's Canadian Arab to Watch

Our Canadian Arab to Watch initiative is going strong, launched in December 2013 to highlight the wealth of leadership, innovation and contributions within our community. For more details about the program, past honourees and for nomination forms, please visit our Canadian Arab to Watch page.

Lina Duque: Leading and Inspiring, the Social Media Way


If you’re in downtown Toronto these days, you’re likely to run into a billboard ad that reads, in big, bold letters: “Transform passion into action.” Beside the words there is a smiling, confident face.

The name behind the smile is Lina Duque, and the confidence behind the words comes from years of experience of doing just that – following her passion and practicing it.

A social media strategist and a thought leader in her field, Lina provides expertise for senior executives and entrepreneurs on how to use social media tools and platforms to build and manage their personal brand. She successfully turned her passion, her wish to help others leverage the power of social media, into a consulting practice that calls some of the country’s top business schools, including the Ivey Business School at Western University, as clients.

 Applying her own tips has clearly paid off.

Today, she’s a regular speaker and writer in the social media space, contributing articles to the likes of Forbes and the Globe and Mail, where she will share, for instances, advice about building your personal brand while maintaining the energetically-demanding 9 to 5.

 Much inspiration could also be drawn from her own personal experience of managing responsibilities.

 A few years ago, when Lina was in the midst of working as a media relations advisor for a Bay Street law firm and studying full-time as an executive MBA student, she and her husband found out that she was pregnant. With her weekends and evenings already full of writing papers and making conference calls with her team, that news was not quite timely.

 Challenges like this, however, should never stop one from pursuing goals, dreams, or passions. And so, Lina decided to be a role model for her baby-to-be, and she adapted. And not only did she adapt, but also made the best of the situation.

 In her article on, a website that advances women’s leadership, which was created by the COO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg, Lina explains that rather than hindering her, being pregnant while studying and working full-time taught her how to prioritize her tasks and manage her time, both of which help her today in her career. Another thing she came to experience was the counter-intuitive paradox of: “when you have more time, you waste more of it.”

Or, a list-full of tasks is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be overturned. Today, she still applies that lesson. Besides developing her own personal brand, and as part of honing her leadership skills, Lina routinely reaches out to women leaders for mentorship and inspiration. She notes the lessons learned and generously shares her findings.

 One of those women is Ryerson University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Julia Hanigsberg, whose busy lifestyle has taught Lina a few things about effective collaboration and fearlessness. Another is SickKids’ former CEO Mary Jo Haddad and her wonderful advice – “You don’t have to change who you are to achieve your career goals… Make your own way.”

 So, whether you make your own way or seek help in doing so, both of which can go hand in hand, naturally, consider meeting with Lina. You might want to attend her social media course (at Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education), or contact her directly through her website. Either way, make sure you have a pen and paper handy from the get-go – she might start giving you great advice at any given moment.

 To learn more about Lina, visit her website at

 Photo: Jim Panou

 Said Sultans & Divas, Introduced

sultans & divas.png

While December could (quite understandably) be associated with winter-coats and green-salted streets, the 4th of this year’s December should also include an association with opera, orchestras, literature, and a warm evening of smiles and good company.

Yes, it is still (a rather intermittent) summer, but we also wanted to warm your thoughts about the winter to come with some of the names behind the faces you’ll be seeing on stage at CAI’s Sultans and Divas.

To begin with, the many faces of OktoEcho orchestra will surely be a unique feature for the Jazz fans among you. An ensemble of 12 musicians under the artistic direction of composer Katia Makdissi-Warren, OktoEcho throws the listener into a sonic world of hope, aspiration, and lyricism concocted by a musical meeting of the Middle East and the West.

 And how about some Spanish Flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, French Manouche, and Gypsy-jazz for temptation? Sultans of String will not be the only ones to thrill, but theirs will be an invitation to dance to the fire of their violin, rumba-flamenco guitar, and funk bass. Theirs will be irresistible nourishment to any wandering soul.

To be sure, the soul of Arabic will be present too. Miriam Khalil sings it, and does so with a sweeping passion. Her voice has been described as both gorgeous and commanding, her presence, powerful and beautiful. Her talent is diverse. She’s put on Cleopatra’s dress in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and sang Mimi’s Aria in Puccini’s La Boheme, that is, among various other royal characters.

Now, if you’re a fan of the human (musical) voice, this evening promises to be a treat. Joining Miriam will be the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrellah. Whether performing internationally or in North America, she has been described as a sensual, dignified, and an inspired choice. In December, she will bring all that and combine it with the warmth, je-ne-sais-quoi, and rhythms of Arabic language and culture.

Still need convincing? 

Tickets are now on sale HERE!

The Arab World Thought of it

A book by Saima S. Hussan on Inventions, Innovations and Amazing Facts

Book CoverInk-filled pens, mattresses, and bars of soap -- these are only some of the inventions and innovations that have been passed down through the millennia from the peoples of Arab lands. People from the Arab world have also given us the scalpel, sherbet, planetariums, and three-course meals. The school that became the University of Al-Qarawiyin in Fez, Morocco, was founded in 859 CE. According to many experts, it is the oldest university still operating today.

The Arab World Thought of It uses stunning photos and well-researched information to provide an overview of contributions made in the fields of medicine, architecture, food, and education. Also included is a look at accomplishments in the areas of engineering, transportation, and oil production. Complete with maps, timeline, index, and a list of further reading, this book is an excellent starting point for the exploration of a thriving culture.


2013 Middle East Book Award: Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.”  

2014 Arab American Book Award, Honorable Mention

Author Bio: Saima Hussain is a Mississauga resident and writer. She was born in Pakistan and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She holds an Honours B.A. in English and History from the University of Toronto and M.A. from Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

“Filled with a wealth of information, this book is an excellent resource for teachers and students studying the Arab world.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 04/13

“Youngsters can delve into the Arab world's long and fascinating history in this book by Mississauga author Saima Hussain, who was raised in Saudi Arabia.” —Waterloo Region Record 04/27/13

“… continues the exemplary work that has been done in bringing cultures of the world to older readers and in providing useful and amazing information concerning inventions and innovations from that perspective.”
—Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 06/01/13

“Tidbits of information and crisp, engaging photographs will entice browsers …”
—Kirkus Reviews, 06/15/13

“Anyone reading The Arab World Thought of It is sure to develop a greater appreciation for the Arab culture that has its roots in the desert.”
—CM Materials, 06/13

The staff of the Mississauga Public Library will be hosting a public event for the book on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 from 7 to 8 PM. 

Upcoming Events

Envision Arabia Summit hosted by our partner the Arab Development Initiative (ADI) in Montreal from September 19-21. Learn more about it on their Facebook page and Website


A CAI lecture with Mokhtar Lamani, Moroccan ambassador distinguished in international diplomacy, on September 24th at UofT @ 7PM.  Details to follow.


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