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Tareq Hadhad – Peace by Chocolate – RESILIENCY THROUGH ADVERSITY
May 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
Tareq Hadhad is a Syrian refugee now living his new life with his entrepreneurial family on Canada’s east coast. He is the founder and CEO of Peace by Chocolate, the recipient of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 for Atlantic, named one of the Top 25 Immigrants in The Maritimes, selected by Google as the National Hero Case, and was awarded RBC’s top Immigrant Award and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. All of this has happened since Tareq’s arrival on Canada’s East Coast in December 2015 as a Syrian-Canadian newcomer.
In 2012 the Hadhad’s home and factory that housed the family chocolate-making business were destroyed which forced them to seek safety in other countries. A former medical student at Damascus University and long-time peacekeeping advocate, Tareq joined medical relief efforts after arriving in Lebanon. A new life began when Tareq and his family were welcomed to Canada on a community-based sponsorship.
Passionate about peace and entrepreneurship, his family relaunched the family business to recreate the chocolates they once exported across the Middle East and their story turned into and international inspiring phenomenon.
Tareq and his family have a focus on job creation, utilizing a network of local community members and refugees from across Nova Scotia and Canada to help support the local economy. Now that their chocolates are distributed across Canada they look to offer more employment opportunities as their business grows.
He has had the privilege to meet former President of the United States, Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Ministers, and has had conversations with many World Leaders. There has been a feature film made about the family’s story that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and a best-selling book written by Jon Tattrie called Peace by Chocolate. In January 2020, Tareq received his official Canadian Citizenship which garnered international attention and has become one of the greatest accomplishments of his life.
Tareq has spoken at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Conference, TEDx events, Chambers of Commerce Dinners, keynote presentations in Jamaica, London England, Paris and Copenhagen, and spoken to several corporate and government organizations both in person and online. He has done over 500 interviews with different news teams across the globe. Tareq speaks on the compelling story of his family, the positive impact of Syrian newcomers and the spirit of entrepreneurship and giving back.
A feature film based on the Hadhad story will be premiering in Cineplex theaters across Canada on May 6th.