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Posted by: Almadina Halal Meat & Deli on 04/21/2017

RICHARD AWID

RICHARD AWID Richard Awid was born in Edmonton in 1939. He comes from a family of eight sons and six daughters. His father,Ahmed Ali Awid, came to Canada from Lala,Lebanon in 1901. He was one of the first of a few thousand Muslims living in all of Canada at that time. Mary, Richard's mother, came from the country of Poland, in1895, as a baby. Poland, at that time, was under the occupation of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Richard got all of his education in Edmonton. In 1964, he received a B. A. in Sociology from the University of Alberta. He,then earned a B. Ed. degree from the same university in 1966. In this year,Richard began employment with the Edmonton Public School Board. For the next twenty-seven years, he worked as an elementary teacher with Edmonton Public. He retired from teaching in 1993. Richard Awid married his wife,Soraya Zaki Hafez, on July 9, 1988. He and Soraya would spend their honeymoon in Cairo,Egypt. Over the years,Soraya and Richard would make several other visits to Egypt and, as time went on, they visited Syria and Lebanon. Together, Soraya and Richard would participate in working on the Arabic Language Program at Malmo School. Previously, Soraya spent much of her time developing the Arabic Language Program at Glengarry School. She was Canada's first Arabic Language teacher sponsored by a school system, within school hours, in our country. Soraya, also, played a part in saving Canada's first mosque, the Al Rashid, from demolition. As President, of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women ( Edmonton Chapter), she and her group, eventually, got the mosque moved to Fort Edmonton Park. Over the years, Richard has played his part in promoting a better understanding of Muslims and Arabs in Canada. He played a very significant role in organizations such as the Canadian Arab Friendship Association, the Canadian Arab Professional and Business Club, and the Arabic Language Advisory Council. Richard has taken part in numerous interviews about the Arab/ Muslim community on radio, television and for newspapers over the years and during these interviews, he always requested a better understanding from the interviewers of Arabs and Muslims. Mr.Awid has written several books about the community--two of which are: " Through the Eyes of the Son "--a factual history about Canadian Arabs and "Canada's First Mosque- the Al Rashid." He has spent several years volunteering at Fort Edmonton Park where he has told the story about the Al Rashid mosque. Many visitors, to the Park, have heard this story and are very fascinated that Canada's first mosque was built in Edmonton. Richard, over the years, has worked with numerous non-Arab/ non-Muslim organizations. He served as President for the Edmonton Multicultural Society, and was,also, President of the Greater Edmonton Teachers Convention Association. He has, also, been a member of the Phoenix Multifaith Society and the Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation. Richard Awid's life has been one of great determination to succeed in whatever he took part in and it has been a life of fairness where he believes that all people should be treated equally. In addition, he is a firm believer in allowing all people to express their views whether a person agrees or disagrees with those views. He knows that if we all make some small adjustments in our lives,we will then live in a world that can be at peace for one and all. *** Richard Awid's latest project in promoting Arab/ Muslim understanding is one in which he has supplied information for a historical comic strip about Arabs and Muslims in the Edmonton area.THE COMIC STRIP IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT THE WEBSITE: http://yegtales.ca/alrashid.html