Job Title: Team Lead, Immigration and Multicultural Relations, City of Edmonton
Tarek Fathelbab first heard of Canada when he was an eight-year-old in Alexandria, Egypt. A film he saw said Canadians were friendly — which stuck with him when he was applying for graduate school abroad. Arriving in Alberta at 26, he was glad to meet people who lived up to Canada’s good reputation.
With a passion for multicultural experiences and a love of snowy weather, Edmonton had exactly what he wanted in a city. Still, he knows how intimidating newcomers can find Edmonton, because he’s experienced first-hand the challenges of starting over in another language. Growing up, Fathelbab loved art and writing stories. He brings that creativity to his work, identifying gaps in services and offering something beyond language classes and résumé writing to Edmonton’s newcomer population. So, during his time with Bredin Centre for Career Advancement, he launched an exhibit for new-comer artists called Diversity Through Art to showcase their work and connect with the local arts community.
“I noticed that we have a lot of newcomer artists, but there was no specific program tailored for newcomer artists. Because the programs that were federally funded back then were basically to help people to find survival or transitional jobs. That’s not fulfilling for an artist.”