The Accidental Entrepreneur
Episode 13Mar 18, 2020, 02:37 PM
Tareq Hadhad is general manager of Peace by Chocolate in Antigonish, N.S. He was cited as a Syrian refugee success by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the UN Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in 2016. He studied medicine at Damascus University and proceeded to join the medical relief efforts for Syrian refugees with UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Health Organization when he arrived in Lebanon in 2013 as a refugee himself. Passionate about the peace and youth entrepreneurship, and just after arriving in Canada, he and his family started Peace by Chocolate to sponsor peacebuilding projects and support the local economy by offering jobs.
The company later turned into a phenomenon that has inspired people around the world and was mentioned at the UN Summit as a remarkable example of the contributions of the newcomers in their communities. The Hadhads had shipped “specialty treats” across the Middle East for more than two decades, but were then forced to live in a refugee camp in Lebanon for three years after bombing destroyed much of Damascus, including the family chocolate factory. Their story has become emblematic of refugee resettlement efforts. The family have not only rebuilt their lives but have taken their products and story to the UN, the US House of Representatives, and all the way to the International Space Agency.