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VOLUME

2, ISSUE

1 – APRIL

2008

PAGE

46

Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Walid Elawar, Honorary President Former President of the Toronto Chapter, and a cornerstone of the community Very Active with the current board and longstanding member.

Druze Home

Mortgage Paid Off

The Toronto Druze House Mortgage was recently paid off in full. On November 24th, 2007 the announcement was officially made during a evening hosted by the Toronto Druze Society. Numerous dignitaries attended and spoke.

build their self confidence so they can face the new challenges here and back home, and let us teach them the difference between material progress and spiritual poverty.

Below is a my speech in honour of the occasion.

I welcome you all to this joyous and reflective occasion today that many of us call it “The realization of a dream”, and here we are at this beautiful gathering announcing the payment of the mortgage on our beloved Druze House.

Ladies and gentlemen, our contributions to our new home are great

as well.

Among us are doctors, lawyers,

computer

scientists,

business

people,

movie producers, and more.

Yet, we find

It was a necessary and gigantic step for our community, but its seeds were planted 37 years ago by a few Druze immigrants who had the vision and determination, and never stopped

working gratitude

until the dream became and we salute them.

reality.

To

them

is

our

our community facing and discriminations, change, but to create

many prejudices and we need change we must

get

involved,

especially

in

the

political

Jihad Halabi Toronto Chapter President

system, and at

least use our

basic rights

of registering and voting, and building strong bridges between

each other first, and then the different levels of government. Tonight we celebrate the faith, determination, trust, sacrifices, and unity love, of our of this To us as a Druze community, we feel that it is the right time to build on and improve all programs, be it cultural, religious, educational, youth, women, and seniors. Because the financial pressures have been eliminated, we would like to do it in cooperation and partnership with you. community. These the cornerstones are modest house, which will bigger and to grow better things in the near future with compassion, and true participation. honesty, We would like the Lebanese and Arab communities to consider this house as their own, especially for any cultural, educational, or Arab nationalistic causes, and we wish that all other community groups will have their own centres and pay them off in the near future. In closing, allow me to thank all of you again for participating with us tonight, especially our honoured guests. My thanks to all previous board members and committees who worked so hard over the years and continue working, especially the ladies committee. Thanks to all our community members whom the board and I had the honour and privilege of serving. A great A Druze, or a Mowahid, is person who b e l i e v e s f G o i th d d , h f a n e oneness o i as t an big thank you for our trustees, Mr. Chafic Abou-tarieh, and my late father, Mr. Jamil Elawar whose spirit still guides me today, and of course my family and wife for ng up with my hectic schedules. Finally, I would like to say Rola Hamdan Women Committee h trust in Him and all his prophets, and believes in May God give us the will and wisdom above all. determination to get the changes our community deserves in these turbulent times. putti

Ladies and gentlemen, we came to a great country that we now call home which I truly believe that it is the best country on the face of this planet, and it is teaching us tolerance, respect, acceptance, equality, and humility. But, at the same time we have our own history, culture, traditions, and heritage that we must preserve through a cultural centre where we can teach the new generations their language, religion, art, history, and help

I am proud to be amongst you I am a proud Druze I am a proud Canadian-Arab

And we did it!

“IF WE CANNOT LOVE THE PERSON WHOM WE SEE, HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD, WHOM WE CANNOT SEE?”

C anadian Chapters

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