MIDDLE EASTERN FRIENDSHIP CENTRE

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About Us


Purpose: To offer a gathering place where people from the Middle East, Africa and other cultures can connect with each other and learn how to access community resources.

The Centre began in 2009 through the initiative of several Arab families in the greater Surrey area. They felt a need to have a place where Arabs could meet together, learn from one another, and help one another. Other interested people also are supportive and are welcome to participate. This centre does not receive funds from the Canadian government, but is funded by the Arab community and interested friends. The centre is completely run by volutneers, no one recieves a salary.


The Centre is located at 13483 108th Ave in Surrey, BC. Hours may vary, but as of May 2014 it is open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Wednesday through Saturday with some extended hours for English conversational classes. This center opened on July 29, 2009 at this rented facility.

Most of the events are held in Arabic with a mixture of Englishand Farsi. The centre is staffed by volunteers who speak a variety of languages including Arabic, Farsi, Swahili, Turkish and others. This facility and these volunteers are available to assist newcomers to Canada and others as needed. Some of the assistance provided has been:

  • Providing free furniture as needed to new comers to the community. We have already helped a large number of individuals and families with tables, chairs, televisions, couches, and other household needs.
  • Helping newcomers understand a variety of paper work that they must complete in English. We have helped many with filling out forms for school, doctors, work and applications for community services and other resources.
  • During January to April volunteers are available to assist newcomers with filling out the Canadian tax forms. Appointments must be made to ensure that someone will be available to help, and that translators for the appropriate language are present.
  • At various times the centre offers seminars on specific topics. These have included: Health and Drug Services in Canada, Immigration Policies, Banking, Insurance, Real Estate, Job Searching and others.
  • An important services is to provide friendship over a cup of coffee or tea with a caring volunteer that has some understanding of their culture and what it means to be in a new and different country. Often the volunteer can connect people together, whether you are looking for a barber who speaks Arabic or a dentist or lawyer.

The Centre works in communication with other organizations in the greater Vancouver area that are focused on refugee and immigrant services. Other organizations have used our centre for seminars and meeting contacts.

We have also conducted cultural and religious awareness seminars on Middle Eastern cultures for civic and religious groups in the greater Vancouver area.

We maintain a resource center and library with books, cds, dvds, and other materials in Arabic, Farsi, English and other languages as needed and available. These are provided in a quiet library setting and a supply of both library resources to check out and return later and some materials to take for free or by donation to keep.

We also provide a couple of computers reserved for visitor to use as needed for research, writing job resumes, etc and our volunteers are available to give them assistance as needed with their language skills.

The Centre also provides conversational English classes on a regular schedule. These are not certificate ESL classes but rather give individuals an opportunity to practice their English conversationally and often in a one on one setting. We also have two Arabic classes, beginner and advanced.

 Located next to the Gateway Skytrain Station
13483 108 Ave.,
Surrey BC V3T 2K2
Phone: 604-288-5588 (Arabic or English)
 

 Hours: Wednesday to Friday: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm