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Posted by: Almadina Halal Meat & Deli on 04/23/2017

MAHMOUD RAHALL

MAHMOUD RAHALL Mahmoud Rahall came to Edmonton in 1952 from the village of Lala in Lebanon, where he was born and raised. Mahmoud came by ship with his cousin, Najeeb Rahall and his friends, Khaled Amerey and Said Najmeddine. They would arrive in Halifax on April 12, 1952. Then they took the train from Halifax to Edmonton. Before getting on the train, however, they had to prove to the authorities that they had enough money to purchase tickets which would take them to Edmonton. A Lebanese, who was working for the Canadian government, solved any problems they experienced. Upon their arrival in Edmonton, they were met by Mahmoud's uncle, Khalil Rahall, who welcomed them to the city.Mahmoud was only seventeen years old when he arrived in Canada. His reason for coming to Canada was that Uncle Khalil promised to bring one person to Canada from each Rahall family in Lala. Mahmoud was chosen to come from his family. It was Mahmoud's father's wish that Mahmoud go to school in Canada so that he could have a better life. His Uncle Khalil, however, couldn't afford to send him to school.This meant that Mahmoud would have to find a job, even though, he had limited English. Mickey Awid gave Mahmoud a job at both Western Varieties and Alberta Giftwares. In his job, Mahmoud was able to work in Cold Lake and in Calgary with Mickey's brother, Eddie. Mahmoud appreciates the help the Arab community provided him in his early days in Edmonton. He got to know people like Hilwie and Ali Hamdon. He describes Hilwie Hamdon as his Canadian mother. Mahmoud remembers the help given to him by Albert and Abdallah Shaben. He has high regards for Assad and George Farrah, as well as, members from the Yaggey and Hallet families. He was always invited to both Christian and Muslim functions. Mahmoud, also, can't forget the story about a small group of Muslim pioneers who built Canada's first mosque,the Al Rashid. Mahmoud enjoyed going to Ahmed Awid's house in order to learn about the history of Mahmoud's family. He was told by Ahmed that a relative of Mahmoud( also named Mahmoud) came to Canada in 1901 and returned to Lebanon where he died in 1933.The young Mahmoud learned about his relatives who went to Brazil as well as the relative who was in the fur trade in Canada's north.This relative caught pneumonia and died at the age of 27. Mahmoud Rahall has spent a lot of time working with his community which he considers to be very dedicated to many causes.In those days, it was a small, cohesive community. He believes that the younger generation lacks knowledge about the history of the community and wishes that they would take time to learn more about this history. Mahmoud's Uncle Khalil passed away from cancer in February, 1956. He remembers taking his uncle to the hospital with his friend, Alex Amerey.When asked what he likes about Canada, Mahmoud says it is the greatest country on the face of the earth- but he still loves Lebanon. Life in Canada, however, is different than life in Lebanon.He returned to Lebanon, for a visit, in 1969.While in Canada, he was able tobring some of his siblings to live here.Mahmoud marriedin 1958 and their family consists of three brothers and two daughters.They have twenty grandchildren.