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.
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:
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.