Monday Morning Musings

Posted on August 15, 2016 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

Hadhad Chocolates


The sweet taste of success.

To watch Isameddin Hadhad stand proudly and cut the ribbon to open the family chocolate factory on August 10, 2016 was a cause for jubilation.

Less than 12 months ago, the family was in Lebanon with a very uncertain future. Today they have a new home, Antigonish, Nova Scotia and are laying down the building blocks for a long productive life in Canada.

There are other success stories of Syrian families who have made the difficult transition of living in a new country, learning a new language and trying desperately to become part of a new community. But the Hadhad story has to be the gold standard.

Tareq was the first to arrive and blazed a trail for the rest of his family . He has provided immeasurable assistance to local sponsorship groups in settling other Syrian families. Some of us met him shortly after he arrived last December and knew than anyone plucky enough to play street hockey, was going to fit in nicely. The Syrian community here and across the country could not have found a better ambassador. He is bright, joyful and unbelievably accommodating to every request. His public talks are riveting and heartfelt as he tries to paint a picture of the plight of his fellow countrymen.

His brothers and sisters seem to have assimilated seamlessly and are part of the fabric of the community. Our granddaughter had several playdates this summer with Taghrid and it was heartwarming to see a child , who has witnessed war and turmoil,  enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood hanging out in a playground…. and laughing.

Our hearts go out to the matriarch of the family, Shahnaz. While she is no doubt pleased with the progress the family is making, her joy is muted as she awaits the arrival of her daughter and two young grandchildren.

To those who criticize governments for bringing in refugees who will consume our services and take away jobs, may I present to you the Hadhad family: at the opening of Peace by Chocolate, Tareq announced that the Hadhads will be hiring students this fall and those of us who know their character and work ethic, will not be surprised when they build a larger factory in our community employing dozens of people.

Prime Minister Trudeau will be in New Glasgow tomorrow. I’m sure he will be pleased to see the faces of our new Nova Scotians amongst the throngs of other Canadians.

We welcome them and congratulate them.

As-salaam ‘alaykum.

Have a great week.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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