Syrian newcomer who refused social assistance, finds job in Cambridge

CBCNews Kitchener Waterloo - 'My life's completely changed,' says Syrian refugee Tareq Ibrahim

One month after sharing his story with CBC News, Tareq Ibrahim has landed a job in his field with Cambridge insurance company Gore Mutual.

Ibrahim arrived in Kitchener in September 2015, but despite being fluent in English and having worked as a finance manager for multi-national corporations, he struggled to find work that matched his skills. 

Companies wanted to see Canadian experience, Ibrahim told CBC's The Morning Edition in December. 

Ibrahim's story resonated with people, in particular because he refused to apply for Ontario Works or accept government support until he exhausted his savings. 

Catherine Leclair heard that interview on her drive to work.

"[I] thought it was very compelling," said Leclair, the vice president of human resources for Gore Mutual. 

"But along with it was that sense of honour he has, and his integrity."

She said she arrived at work that morning to learn the company's chief financial officer had also heard the interview, and together they decided to reach out to Ibrahim.