Review of TIFF 2019 movie 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood': an eye-opener for journalists to look deep
#ABeautifulDayInTheNeighborhood; #There'sno normalLifeThatIsFreeFromPain
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): Review: Directed by California-born, Marielle Heller, TIFF 2019 film 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, recounts the story of a journalist, Lloyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys) who accepts an assignment to profile the children’s television host Fred Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) in Marielle Heller's biographical film.
Image: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Courtesy of TIFF
Lloyd's prejudiced opinion of Rogers is transformed when he sees Rogers' empathetic message to the young viewers how to deal with real-life challenges, conflict, and pain.
"There's no normal life that is free from pain," Rogers says simply on the set of his show. Rogers's observation of Lloyd's pain of a lifetime of unresolved conflicts with his father (Chris Cooper) and wife (Susan Kelechi Watson) transformed their perspectives towards each other.
Besides uncovering the plot of the story after a few minutes, the script of the film by the team of Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster also reveals Rogers' unique mode of presenting a prototypical case study of anger management.
The movie not only reveals Lloyd's real confidence about the rationale for staying within his bounds but also displays the exploration of Rogers' lasting appeal.
Other details about the film are as follows:
The Cast of the film: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Cooper
Executive Producers: Bergen Swanson, Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Edward Cheng, Howard Chen
Producers: Youree Henley, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Leah Holzer
Screenplay: Noah Harpster, Micah Fitzerman-Blue
US Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing
Publicist: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Canadian Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing Canada
Original Score: Nate Heller
Marielle Heller was born in Marin County, California. She studied theatre at the University of California, Los Angeles, and London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She has directed the features The Diary of a Teenage Girl (15) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (18), which played the Festival. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (19) is her latest film.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): Directed by Atiq Rahimi TIFF 2019 movie 'Our Lady of the Nile' intuitively describes the frightening and real dangers of inter-ethnic racism about young girls who are taught to become the Rwandan elite.
Our Lady Of the Nile/Image credit: TIFF
The depiction of slow creeping of violence in the movie, in a closed-off environment of a prestigious Catholic boarding school, brings to the movie an element of unrealism.
This is further heightened by the catalytic use of the wild contrast of softness and peace and beauty of landscapes of the country and the innocence of these girls. The film's basis of the constant search of beauty characterising religious art pitched against the sudden violence resulting in the fading of the darkness is portrayed picturesquely.
Cast of the film is Santa Mugabekazi, Albina Sydney Kirenga, Malaika Uwamahoro, Clariella Bizimana, Belinda Rubango Simbi, Pascal Greggory.
Producers are Dimitri Rassam, Rani Massalha, Marie Legrand, Charlotte Casiraghi, Swoon Productions and Screenplay by Atiq Rahimi, Ramata Sy
Born in Kabul, Atiq Rahimi fled Afghanistan in 1984 and found political asylum in France, where he studied film at the Sorbonne. His debut feature Earth and Ashes, adapted from his bestselling novel of the same name, and his second feature, The Patience Stone, played the Festival. Our Lady of the Nile (19) is his latest film.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): Writer director Taika Waititi's latest film, Jojo Rabbit narrates the story of lonely German boy Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), based on his own life spent in a prejudiced society.
Taika Waitti, who plays the role of Jojo's imaginary friend, presents through Jojo a child’s eye view of an intolerant society after completely brainwashing the 10-year old Jojo.
Then one day Jojo discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Jojo who was taught to hate Jewish finds his safety at home with his endangered. He felt that even his imaginary friend Hitler cannot protect him against the fear that gripped him.
Through Jojo's story, the director reveals with humour and pathos, the sad story of how hate preys on the weak and the young, and how history keeps repeating itself.
New Zealand-based Taika Waititi is a writer, director, and actor and has written and directed the feature films Eagle vs Shark (07), Boy (10), What We Do in the Shadows (14), and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (16), and, as director, Thor: Ragnarok (17). Jojo Rabbit (19) is his latest film.
Casting of the film is Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant, Alfie Allen, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#enigmaticCharacters; #flashbackTechnique; #OpenEndedStory
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): Directed by Mohandas Geetu, 2019 TIFF movie 'The Elder One' revolves around the basic idea of search, whether it is a search of the lost relative, Geetu's search for characters to fit the plot of the movie, or the characters' search for their lost identity.
The plot of the story is about the two siblings who leave the small island of Lakshadweep, each with a different motive. Akbar (Nivin Pauley), the actor leaves the island to go to Mumabai in search of a good job and Molly (Sanjana Deepu) leaves for Mumbai in search of Akbar.
Akbar/Image credit: TIFF
The development of the varied and intrigued characters is very well done by Geetu, but the flashback technique used for the development of the plot of the story with so much stuff packed in a small interval of time, sometimes makes it difficult for the viewers to discern the connecting links. For example reason for Akbar's departure for Mumbai is shown in flashback.
The open ending of the story showing the smile and expression of joy on Mulla's face juxtaposed with the tragic collapse of Akbar when he realized that he could not save Mulla was very well picturised by the use of a catalyst.
The violence shown in the movie is sometimes too much but it truly reflects the underworld represented in the movie. The world of cruelty and abuse to which both Akbar and Mulla fall prey and what these people have to do to earn their living is a true representation of the poverty of Mumbai and the underworld life.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Review of TIFF 2019 movie: 'Son-Mother': depicts the suffering of voiceless against the poor economy
#SufferingOfTheVoiceless; #country’sarchaicrulesandlaws; #prejudiceagainstindependentwomen
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): The director, Mahnaz Mohammadi, in his dramatic first feature film 'Son-Mother' crafts an authentic story of how a hard-working widow Leila (Raha Khodayari) in Iran with an infant and a 12-year old son, Amir (Mahan Nasiri) succumbs to the offer of marriage from another factory worker Kazem (Reza Behboodi).
Son-Mother/Courtesy of TIFF
The climax in the movie when Leila faces the dilemma of Amir's sharing the same room as Kazem's young daughter forces Leila to abandon her son.
The story is told first from the mother’s and then the son’s point of view and reveals the Iran’s archaic rules and laws with prejudice against independent women.
Mohammadi's passion for social issues and talented technical team is led by cinematographer Ashkan Ashkani, who approaches common situations with his creative skills.
The cast of the film is Raha Khodayari, Mahan Nasiri, Reza Behboodi, Shiva Ordooie, Maryam Boubani.
The filmmaker, Mahnaz Mohammadi is also an actor, and women's rights activist and has directed the short documentary Women Without Shadows and the feature documentary Travelogue. Son-Mother (19) is her fiction feature debut.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, Sept 19 (Canadian-Media): Directed by Kazik Radwanski, TIFF 2019 movie ‘Anne at 13,000 ft’ narrates the exhausting cinematic experience of Anne portrayed with the elements of emotions and intellectuality, keeps the viewers spellbound during its 75-minute running time.
Anne at 13,000 ft/Image credit: TIFF
Anne's conflict with herself regarding her poor performance in the daycare where she works, her crumbling relationships with her newly found love in Matt is described with a fairy-tale approach. This is wildly contrasted with Anne's diving, portrayed as awakening with passion and rage from the slumber of confusion brings to the movie and element of psychology to the movie.
The dramatic portrayal of the rationalisation of Anne's mental illness with an element of humaneness has been intuitively described.
The cast of the movie is Deragh Campbell, Matt Johnson, Dorothea Paas, Lawrene Denkers.
The films's Executive Producers are Nathan Silver, C. Mason Wells and its Producers are Dan Montgomery, Kazik Radwanski
Toronto-born Radwanski's shorts include the Festival selections Princess Margaret Blvd, Out in that Deep Blue Sea. Green Crayons and Scaffold (17).
His feature films include Tower and How Heavy This Hammer, both of which played the Festival. Anne at 13,000 ft (19) is his latest film.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#RakeshMishra; #VedicCulturalCentre,#Markham, #Ontario; #digitizingknowledge; #digitizingexperience; #rightmindset; #sixpillarsoflife
Markham, Apr 26 (Canadian-Media): With a mission to influence the lives of a billion people in his lifetime, award Winning Speaker and Motivational Coach Rakesh Mishra was present at Vedic Cultural Centre, Markham, Ontario on April 23 to address the audience of around 60 people.
Mishra had on many previous occasions addressed audiences on more than 200 stages and inspired and motivated more than 100,000 people in several countries.
Speaking at the Vedic Cultural Centre on Apr 23, Mishra presented a simple concept of helping people digitize their knowledge and experience to transition their skills and achieve their dreams and to live life with freedom and abundance.
Health, Wealth, Family, Career, Social Life and Spirituality, said Mishra in his talk, were the six pillars of Life covered by his life management program which he tried to offer and added that these can be achieved by building the right mindset.
“These are the six pillars that affect people in one way or another”, said Mishra addressing an audience of around 60 people on April 23. “One or more of these pillars is affecting your journey through life. Towards this end, I help people understand their hidden self, explore their deepest desires and realize their potential, providing individuals and groups with coaching in self-improvement, public speaking, interpersonal skills, corporate training as well as salesmanship.”
The speaker and the coach, Mishra called himself a real Slumdog who actually had to work very hard to overcome the stumbling blocks in his life.
Originally from an Indian village, he said to the audience, that two main stumbling blocks of his life, which he had to overcome after coming to Canada, were: poor English knowledge and poverty.
Mishra was able to overcome these roadblocks by adopting the philosophy to stretch beyond his comfort zone.
“I believe that despite numerous challenges, if I can do it, then anyone else can change their destiny. The key thing is to explore your internal path and follow that defined path to success,” says Mishra.
“One major challenge was the death of my wife during childbirth when I was in my 30s. My initial plan was to commit suicide that was soon replaced with a fighting spirit that gave me strength to face adversity.”
After coming to Canada, he challenged himself and in the end succeeded in recreating his own destiny.
"Not only did I learn to speak the language, I joined organizations like Toastmasters where I got a new perspective of life to live with full abundance and clarity,” said Mishra.
With a great desire to share his life's experiences to inspire people all over the world, Mishra became a public speaker.
Today, Mishra offers coaching programs through 4-hour workshops or individual/group coaching.
With an objective to inspire audiences to live life with freedom and abundance, Mishra says,
“I have a simple concept to help individuals, groups and corporates utilize their hidden potential, make breakthroughs and work towards positive thinking, tap into their innermost desires while sweeping away fears, complexes and negativity from their lives. "
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Jewish; #GoreTemple; #Brampton, #Ontario; #BarryBrown; #PulitzerPrize; #Humanity:TheWorldBeforeReligion,War&Inequality; #Hebrew #Aristotle; #Havilah; #India'sepicBattleofKurukshetra; #Mahabharata; #HareKrishnatemple, #Vancouver, #B.C.; #Toronto; #Mesopotamia, #Europe; #NortheastAfrica; #IndusRiverValley; #AncientIsraelites; #Levites; #DrLaljiSingh; ##Swastika; #India; #Hindus; #Nazis, #Germany; #Ukraine; #EasternEurope; #YaenVered; #IsraeliAntiquitiesAuthority; # JohnJMastandrea, #DrAbdulHaiPatel; #MetropolitanUnitedChurch, #Toronto; #DineshBhatia; # DrMayankVahia, #Astrophysicist; #TataInstituteforFundamentalResearch, #Mumbai, #India
Toronto, Mar 19 (Canadian-Media): Toronto based Jewish author Barry Brown, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Canadian journalist and author of "Humanity: The World Before Religion, War & Inequality" was present at Gore Temple, Brampton, Ontario earlier this week to speak about his book.
Barry Brown holding his book
‘Humanity: The World before Religion, War & Inequality' is the result of more than 8 years of research. During his research, Brown discovered there is no fossil or archaeological evidence of organized human war anywhere on Earth before about 6000 years ago.
Brown said India's epic Battle of Kurukshetra, which happened nearly 6,000 years ago, was humanity's first full-scale war. As described in the Mahabharata, the war claimed the lives of four million warriors. The war story concludes the tales of the Mahabharata and afterwards Ancient India’s history vanishes for 2,500 years until the time of Buddha (c 600 BC).
Brown told the audience that as a young man he spent 3 years as a brahmachari in the Hare Krishna temples in Vancouver (B.C.) and Toronto where he studied the Vedas and was initiated as a brahman.
He began his investigation into the historic and family ties between the Jewish and Hindu people after reading that the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle said the Jewish people were descended from the brahman priests of Ancient India.
To investigate Aristotle's claim, Brown first turned to the Jewish Bible. According to the Bible, human civilization began in the Garden of Eden and Eden was located in the eastern most part of the larger land called Havilah.
Brown then turned to the 20-volume, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia where he discovered that more than 2,000 years of Jewish and Christian traditions have identified Havilah as India.
He then realized the 6,000 year old Biblical tale of humanity's exile from Eden and Ancient India’s story of the Kurukshetra War, refer to the same event – the end of the world before war.
This catastrophic war of 6,000 years ago was memorialized when the ancestors of the Jewish people started a new calendar to mark the time when Adam and Eve were banished from Eden and the world of warfare began.
From his study of Indian and Jewish genetics he found common family ties between the Jewish tribe of born priests called Levites and many branches of Hindu brahmans including the Yadavas.
According to the Bible, the ancestors of the modern Jewish people were called the Hebrews. The word "Hebrew" means "homeless wanderers from the East" and Brown discovered this referred to the time when the Indo-Semitic Hebrew people migrated to Mesopotamia, Europe and Northeast Africa from the Indus River Valley at the time of its collapse from climate change c 2000 BC. That event was the source of the Bible's story of Noah, he explained.
The Ancient Israelites and their line of born priests called the Levites, like India’s Brahmans, are identified by ancient family ties. The Levites are members of the family of Moses and his brother Aaron (c 1300 BC).
Dr. Lalji Singh, Vice-Chancellor of India’s Hindu University (Banaras) and a leader in India’s genetic research program told Brown that his study of the Jewish population of India revealed that their maternal and paternal gene pool is linked with the people of West- Eurasia. This hypothesis is further supported by the literary evidence, Singh added.
Then followed the question and answer period with the audience.
Q1: Can you distinguish between the symbol of Swastika of Hindu religion in India and that of the swastika symbol used by Nazis in Germany?
A1: Swastika in Hindu religion is known most widely as an important symbol denoting "auspiciousness." Taken from Sanskrit language, Swastika literally means to be good and hence its usage in all holy practices. It is also considered to bring good luck. Some scriptures considered this symbol as representing Brahma, the creator.
But different religions have different religious beliefs. Unfortunately, the Nazis of German nationalist movements saw the swastika as the Germans’ link to the Aryan master race and a symbol of Aryan identity it soon became associated with the idea of hatred.
Q2: Where did the Swastika symbol originate?
A: In the prehistoric times, one of the ways to transcribe and preserve history was inscription on caves. During my research I noticed that no image of human conflict was found on these caves. The Swastik symbol was not there. The oldest symbol of Swastika was uncovered in Ukraine, a country in Eastern Europe, carved on an ivory figurine which dates back an incredible 12,000 years ago.
Following questions were asked during the Canadian-Media exclusive questions and answer Session:
Q1. What lessons do you think all this history has for the modern world?
A1: Members of the Jewish, Christian as well as Muslim communities have praised this book.
"I don't know if you're right but you'll change history if you are," Yaen Vered, Canadian Representative Israeli Antiquities Authority.
"Barry, you've discovered the Rosetta Stone for understanding early Biblical history," John J. Mastandrea, Metropolitan United Church, Toronto
"Congratulations on this masterpiece of research," Dr. Abdul Hai Patel, Ontario Multifaith Council.
India's Consul General in Toronto, Ontario, Dinesh Bhatia, is one of the enthusiastic readers of Brown's book.
“India’s Ancient history ends with the great war more than 5,000 years ago. Your book is fascinating because it explains what happened after the Mahabharata,” said Bhatia.
After the war story, the record of India's ancient history is lost for 2,500 years until the arrival of the Buddha around 600 BC so this revelation of what happened after the war is "very exciting," he said.
I did not get any negative comment till now. Everybody liked this book. Even a 10- year old girl read this and wanted to read this again.
Q2. The Bible is a sacred book to both the Jewish and Christian communities. How have they responded to your research?
A. Being an investigative journalist, I make cold calls to find out about the reactions to my book.
I made a cold call to a distinguished Jewish rabbi in Toronto. After introducing my self and my book I told him about Aristotle's assertion that ‘the Jewish people are descended from the Brahman priests of India.
The rabbi reacted by saying that nobody knows from where Hebrews came from. Brown asked if he could continue explaining his findings. The rabbi agreed to listen and seven minutes later his reply was, “Send in your book; it could be of great interest to our adult education class.”
My book doesn‘t tear down what people believe; rather it gives a new way to broaden our understanding from the historical point of view and how humanity was one family.
Humanity is the first book to examine history as the two-part story of a single human family. The first part tells how a human civilization of travel, trade and language thrived for 3 million years or 99.9% of history before the first war. The second begins 6,000 years ago looks at the divisions created by the first war and follows its consequences to the modern world.
“You have created a very convincing map of the general unity of religions from Hinduism to Judaism to Christianity and Islam as a single path of human perception. This is absolutely brilliant.” Said Dr. Mayank Vahia, Astrophysicist Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, Nov 24 (Canadian-Media): The epic Battle of Kurukshetra in India as described in the Mahabharata nearly 6,000 years ago was the world’s first war that inspired the Biblical story of Eden, claimed the new book ‘Humanity – The World before Religion, War and Inequality', media reports said.
Toronto based Jewish author Barry Brown, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Canadian journalist, who published the book also said that this historical event claimed the lives of four million warriors, after which the Ancient India’s history vanished for 2,500 years until the time of Buddha (c 600 BC).
The book 'Humanity – The World before Religion, War and Inequality' is an epic journey through human history.
According to India’s text, after the war, the remaining members of its Royal Family, known as the Yadavas, begin to migrate westward from Eastern India.
The 6,000 year old Biblical tale of Eden and Ancient India’s story of the Kurukshetra War in the book, claimed Brown, refer to the same event – the world’s First War and the end of ‘Generation Eden’ – human history before war."
The faulty assumption held by people, claimed the book that wars had been fought over land and resources for as long as humans have walked the Earth.
The history that connects the end of Ancient India with the start of the Jewish Bible flows through the Indo-Afro-European people known as the Hebrews.
“Likewise, the nearly 6,000 year old Jewish calendar is said to begin when its first people – Adam and Eve – are exiled from Eden and begin their trek west. The Bible says Eden was a place at the eastern end of a land called Havilah. According to the 20-volume, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, more than 2,000 years of Jewish and Christian tradition identify Havilah as India. That places Eden by the banks of India’s sacred Ganges River.”
About 1,400 years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle said ‘the Jewish people are descended from the Brahman priests of India.’ It turns out, he was right, says Brown.
“The word ‘Hebrew’ means “homeless wanderers from the East and these people are first identified after the Biblical characters of Noah and his followers are forced to abandon their unidentified homeland for the Middle East and Northeast Africa around 2000 BC. This story refers to a period of worldwide climate change and the end of India’s Indus River Valley Civilization. The local people of Mesopotamia called these homeless Indo-Semitic people the ‘Hebrews’.”
These family ties had been traced by modern genetic science through the Ancient Israelites and their line of born priests called the Levites.
the Levites are Jewish priests, like India’s Brahmans, identified by their ancient family ties to the family of Moses and his brother Aaron (c 1300 BC).
Multiple origins for the family of European Levites including one line that is uncommon among Middle Eastern Jews but present in over 70% of the West Bengal Brahmans were found by a 2003 chromosome study of the R1a1a Haplogroup. Another Levite line, Haplogroup J1, leads from the Indus to the Middle East by way of the Persian Gulf while others lead to Europe and North Africa – all around the same time of 2000 BC and all matching the Bible’s tale of migration.
“Our study of the Jewish population of India revealed that their maternal and paternal gene pool is linked with the people of West- Eurasia. The literary evidence also strongly supports this hypothesis,” says Dr. Lalji Singh, Vice-Chancellor of India’s Hindu University and a leader in India’s genetic research program.
To summarise no fossil or archaeological evidence of organized human war was found anywhere on Earth before about 6,000 years ago. It was about 40,000 years ago that early humans began creating cave art about which document the human experience for 30,000 years from about 40,000-10,000 BC. But this lacks any image of human conflict on any of them. For about 6,000 years ago, defensive walls around villages, towns or cities were lacking. As well no war weapons found among the three million years of Stone Age tools. Although there is evidence of individual acts of violence in the prehistoric world, the bloody encounters were very rare and widely separated by time and geography.
Barry Brown, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Canadian journalist has written over 3,000 articles for 120 news organizations worldwide, including ABCNews.com, MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star and Sky News TV (London).
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TareqHadhad, #Syria, #Lebanon, #refugee, #Antigonish, #NovaScotisa; #Toronto, #Canada, #PeacebyChocolate, #EnglishasaSecondLanguage, #Arabic, #French, # Punjabi, #indigenouslanguages
Toronto, Jul 3o (Canadian-Media): The story Peace By Chocolate was narrated by Tareq Hadhad. a Syrian refugee to Canada, at Toronto Reference Library on Jul 26 to a large audience.
Vasudha Sharma and Tareq Hadhad
After a short introduction by the interviwer Vasudha Sharma, Broadcast Journalist, Web Writer, Video Producer, Social Media Story teller Hadhad started narrating the story.
Hadhad said the story contains a universal message of peace for the people of all nationalities and then continued that while in Syria a few years back, his father's flourishing business of 20 years in chocolate as well as much of the homeland was totally destroyed due to a bombing.
This had forced Hadhad and his family to leave everything behind and flee to Lebanon where they lived in a refugee camp with little opportunity or hope.
Then with the help of some friends they were able to cross the Lebanon border again without taking anything.
Having no friends, they registered as refugees at United Nations (UN) and like the rest of the refugees were given numbers.
While waiting at the UN office for registration, when officers started calling the refugees not by their names but by their numbers, Hadhad did not reply when his number was read aloud.
When asked by the officer the reason for not replying, he replied that he was not a number. He felt humiliated that UN did not consider him as Syrian, not even Lebanese but only a refugee.
Next day he again went to UN and offered to volunteer in the health care, the field in which he was experienced as he did not like to rely on the refugee fund.
Hadhad helped set up many health care centres, and ultimately when he with his family was invited to Canada they felt their dreams were coming true.
But when he announced the news of their immigration to Canada, all the family members including his siblings said, “but Canada is too cold.”
Neverthelss they left for Canada and after they arrived in Toronto, Canada in 2015, they were very warmly welcomed and Hadhad realized that these Canadians did not care about their colour, cast or ethnicity. Their main concern was the safety of his family of 9 members.
Hadhad remarked that more than Canadian Government, it was about the Canadians who had raised funds to sponsor Syrians to Canada even without knowing them.
Vasudha Sharma then asked Hadhad to throw light on Peace of Chocolate business.
Hadhad continued that after moving to Canada in December 2015, he with his family settled in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. His father was much interested in starting their own chocolate business and started brewing the chocolate that he did 30 years back.
History repeated itself and soon they were able to rebuild their chocolate company and in 2016 Hadhad founded Peace by Chocolate.
Having worked as a physician in Syria, Hadhad wanted to pursue his career in medicine, due to a great shortage of physicians in Nova Scotia.
But Hadhad did not want to take away any body’s job there and added he had come to Canada to create new jobs with their skills and not take other people’s jobs.
He decided in favour of chocolate business because of their previous experience and their business began to grow.
His siblings had started going to school.
Hadhad’s family registered with the farmers’ market but were not much hopeful that a small community of 4000 people of Antigonish would come to the farmer’s market to purchase the chocolate.
But their amazing response encouraged their business which grew in 3 months, instead of his father’s earlier prediction that it would take at least 20 years before the business could be established.
Hadhad said the message at the core of the company was about spreading peace and added they had started the company more for a cause than to do business.
He said “hate and intolerance sell very easily”, peace along with love were noble values on earth.
Vasudha then asked what he would do to encourage the other refugees coming to Canada.
He replied that tolerance, hard work and perseverance, their entrepreneurship to help their community would be their greatest assets.
Many Syrian refugees who had earlier left for Alberta to seek jobs were called back to Nova Scotia by Hadhad, who offered them jobs in his own business
During the question and answer session with the audience, Hadhad was asked what motivated him to learn the English language and be successful in business, apart from his family’s entrepreneurship.
Hadhad replied that besides being welcomed warmly by the Antigonish community, it organized tours and offered his family everything although they could even when they did not speak even one word of English.
Other helpful assets were the resources offered both by the community, the local libraries and community events which taught them much about the country.
Being in the medical profession while he was In Syria, he had to learn all the ins and outs and ABCs of the business like accounting, business number, registering the business as well its marketing. Hadhad’s father’s distribution of free chocolates to the community members opened connection with everybody in Antigonish.
The best thing was the slogan on the package of the chocolate: One Peace Won’t Hurt.
Hadhad was asked by the audience if he had been interviewed byTed Talk
Hadhad replied he had this opportunity twice, once in Montreal and the other in Dalhousie University.
He was also asked by the audience if Hadhad and his family ever thought of exploring licensing the products to the other countries.
To this Hadhad replied that within a few weeks products would be available from coast to coast.
Then an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher asked Hadhad to give advice on the best ways to teach English language to adult new comers to Canada ,
Hadhad said after spending 3 months in the local library of Antigonish to learn the English language, his advice was that newcomers to the country should not be compelled or rushed to learn English language. Instead there should be interpreters in the room to understand the concerns of the newcomers. One-on-one tutoring and the help of the volunteers in teaching the new comers would be very helpful. Hadhad added that new immigrants learn more from the support of community members than by lesson curriculum in the library. In the end he stressed a great need of a unified method of teaching English to the new immigrants.
The last question by the audience was to name his favourite chocolate.
Hadhad replied that although he liked all brown chocolates, his favourite was the one on which PEACE was written in various languages such as Arabic, French, Punjabi as well as in indigenous languages.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)