Join us Thursday, August 11th, at 4:00PM-PST/7PM-EST on OMTimes Radio, for What’s Going OM? with host Sandie Sedgbeer and Chaker Khazaal.
Regardless of our race, culture, creed, or where in the world we live, all humans have one thing in common: we all face the possibility of having to face a misfortunate or tragic event in our lives.
The fact is, wherever we live—east, west, north or south, small town or urban sprawl—none of us are immune from natural disasters—fire, flood, hurricanes, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, and tornadoes are possibilities that can threaten, devastate, and transform our lives in an instant.
For the more than 60 million refugees living in our world today, however, tragedy and misfortune have transcended possibility to become brutal fact.
At a time when the narrative of world events contains so much hatred, barbarity, and inhumanity, how do we hold on to the decent human values we were raised with – like compassion, support, respect and love?
How does a human being who has been driven from their home, separated from their family, divested of all their belongings and deprived of all human rights survive with their faith in the law, in justice, and in the goodness of their fellow man intact?
According to my guest today, the answer is that one has to remain a dreamer while becoming a fighter for a better life. And that can only happen with love, support, and remembering that all of us, at any time, face the possibility of misfortune.
Born in 1987 to second-generation Palestinian parents, Chaker Khazaal – author, speaker, reporter, and Huffington Post contributor – grew up in Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp, in his host country Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War.
With patience, persistence and a sense of hope, he applied for a university scholarship in any country he was allowed to enter while holding a Travel Document for Palestinian Refugees. When Canada reached out, it set in motion a chain of events beyond his wildest imagination.
At seventeen years of age, he was honored with the prestigious Global Leader of Tomorrow Award from Toronto’s York University, acknowledging his strong academic standing and leadership skills. Now a citizen – a dream come true – Chaker Khazaal is proud to call Canada home.
Having experienced first-hand the humiliation of ‘displacement,’ Chaker is a strong advocate for refugees, and aspiring writers from all countries. Not one to forget his heritage, he has traveled to camps throughout the Middle East, speaking to refugees living in conflict zones. Expanding awareness through education and subsequent employment for refugees, his novels and articles humanize external conflicts. He enjoys capitalizing on strategic opportunities. “Work hard and where you once felt displaced, take the time to explore avenues that make you feel welcome.”
A savvy communicator, he has spoken at a number of platforms including United Nations Headquarters, HuffPost Live, Google San Francisco, msnbc’s Road Map, International Youth Conference (Bahrain), and the launch of the 8th Arab Youth Survey. Addressing global displacement, Chaker’s powerful messages focus on the rise of terrorist acts, the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, and the importance of giving opportunities to the youth. He also speaks on other topics like social media and the process of writing.
His highly anticipated interviews, books, and articles reach an international audience.
In November 2015, Chaker was named Esquire Man of the Year at Man At His Best Awards held in Dubai.
Join us at 4:00PM-PST/7PM-EST on Thursday by clicking the link below: