From chocolatier to speaker Tareq Hadhad

Canadian Immigrant - When the Hadhad family arrived in Canada along with thousands of other Syrian refugees, they had one dream; to find peace.

For more than 20 years, the family had run a successful chocolate business in Damascus, but it was destroyed in a bombing in 2012. After fleeing Syria, they spent nearly three years living in a refugee camp in Lebanon before arriving in Canada in December 2015.

Shortly after their arrival, they were invited to a community potluck in their new home town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and brought the one item they viewed as a symbol of celebration: chocolate.

They made the first pieces in their home kitchen, the same way they started in Syria back in 1986. The chocolates were met with resounding praise by the community.

Their Canadian chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate, was born soon after and has became a prime example of what happens when a community comes together to support newcomers’ dream and ambitions.

The Hadhad family’s story caught international attention when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned them at the United Nations in February 2016.

“Everyone wanted to know what are the Syrians doing? That made me realize it’s really time for me to stand out and send a positive message,” says Tareq Hadhad, general manager of Peace by Chocolate.

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